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Sir William Wallace, 


A Narrative of his Life and Actions , 

chiefly as recorded in 


on the authority of 

john blair, Wallace's chaplain, 
and thomas gray, priest of libberton. 


In vidua antiquo famam qui derogat ssvo. 

And the sword that seem'd fit for Archangel to wield, 
Was light iu his terrible hand. 


■r ^u ; ."'- \.\ta 

London : 


66, Brook Street, Hanover Square, W. 






a 10 . "c . iqo . 



The greater part of what is told in the following 
narrative is founded on the old Scottish poem of 
Henry the Minstrel, commonly called Blind Harry, 
a work which, though popular among Scottish 
readers of former days, is now scarcely known, on 
either side of the border, to any but antiquaries. 

Concerning Henry little is to be learned. Even 
his surname has not been discovered. According 
to Major, in his " Scottish History," he was blind 
from his birth. From the knowledge which he 
displays, he may be considered to have received, 
for the time in which he lived, a fair portion of 
instruction, and consequently to have been, in all 
probability, of parentage above the vulgar. He is 
said by Dempster, in his " Ecclesiastical History 
of Scotland," to have flourished in 1361, fifty-six 
years after Wallace's death. Major states that, 
like Homer, he recited his histories at the houses 
of the great. 

He took his materials, as he himself tells us, 


from a History of Wallace written in Latin partly 
by John Blair, who was Wallace's school-fellow at 
Dundee, and who afterwards, having studied and 
taken orders at Paris, became his chaplain, and 
partly by Thomas Gray, a priest of Libberton, who 
was in attendance on Wallace at the same time 
with Blair. This History, he adds, had received 
the attestation of William Sinclair, Bishop of Dun- 
keld, who, if he had lived a little longer, would 
have presented it to the Pope. Not a fragment of 
it is now known to be in existence. 

He did not, however, depend wholly on this 
book, but consulted the descendants of persons who 
had associated with Sir William Wallace, among 
whom he mentions Wallace of Craigie, and Liddell 
of Liddell. In the earlier part of his poem he is 
very attentive to chronology, but in the latter 
neglectful of it. 

As to the present volume, it is requested that it 
may not be censured for not performing what is 
not its intent. It is not written for the severe 
historical inquirer, who demands, at every step, 
certain proof of what is related. It is a narrative 
resting chiefly on a poetical history, and those 
would be but ungenerous, as a poet has remarked, 
who would restrict poets to simple uncoloured 
detail. The writer will be content if the story 
convey to the reader that idea of Wallace which 
his countrymen have ever loved to cherish. 


3$oo& 5* 


. 1 

Introductory .... 

Edward L's pretensions to the kingdom of Scotland. 
State of Scotland at the time when Wallace arose . 4 


Wallace's first adventure 

. 15 


A pursuit . 

. 20 


Some account of Wallace 

. 24 


Wallace's Character 

. 27 


Wallace and his mother 

. 31 


Wallace's discourse with his uncle . 

. 34 




Wallace fishing 


An occurrence at Ayr 


Wallace captured . 


An escape 


Thomas the Rhymer 

An encounter 


iSooft IS. 

Wallace finds adherents 

A convoy surprised 

Percy's proceedings. A truce 

Another visit to Ayr 

Wallace's uncle ill treated . 

Wallace with the Earl of Lennox 

The Peel of Gargunnock 


. 39 

. 44 

. 49 

. 52 

. 56 

. 58 

. 61 

. 65 

. 70 

. 76 

. 81 

. 84 

. 88 



Wallace at Perth, and in Methuen Wood. Kincleven 
Castle taken . . . . .92 

Wallace attacked by the English 


Wallace in danger at Perth . • 

Wallace pursued. He puts Fawdoun to death. Sir 

Gerald Heron killed 



Wallace at Gask Castle. His dream. Death of Butler. 
Wallace gains the Torwood . . .117 

&00& III. 

Wallace in concealment. He 'has another conversation 

with his uncle .... 

. 122 


Wallace meets with Sir John Grahame 

. 127 


Marian Braidfoot . 

. 131 


An expedition and a battle . 

. 135 


Lochmaben Castle taken 

. 143 


Crawford Castle .... 

. 145 


Wallace married. Young Hazelrigg killed. Death 
of Wallace's wife . . . .148 

Wallace's grief. His revenge 

. 153 

ttooft IF, 

Wallace extends his military operations 

. 156 

The Battle of Biggar 

. 159 

The sequel to the battle . . . .165 

Wallace elected Warden of the kingdom by his fol- 
lowers. His successes . . . .168 

A conference. A cessation of hostilities . .171 

Treachery. A vision . . . .175 

Wallace's danger and escape . . .181 

The burning of the barracks of Ayr . .184 

Bishop Beck expelled from Glasgow . .189 



Invasion of Mac Fadyan. Stirling taken. Fate of 
MacFadyan . . . . .193 

The capture of Perth . . . .200 

Wallace's advance. Battle at Stirling Bridge . 203 

Wallace's arrangements for the government* of the 
country. Resolutions of the English . . 210 

Corspatrick's opposition to Wallace. Result of it .213 

A Battle with Corspatrick. Wallace encountered by 
young Robert Bruce . . . .217 

Wallace receives a Commission from Baliol. His 
Regulations ..... 223 

Wallace invades England . . . .227 

Siege of York . . . . I 232 

A Truce . . . . .237 

Wallace receives another Commission from Baliol. Is 
invited to visit France .... 239 


The Battle of Blackironside . . . .243 

Lochleven Priory. Death of Wallace's Mother . 250 

Sir William Douglas at Sanquhar Castle. Wallace's 
further proceedings .... 253 

King Edward's preparations. Scrymgeour blockades 
Dundee. Woodstock sent to relieve it. Battle of 
Sheriff-Muir . . . . .256 

Discord. Battle of Falkirk. Bruce again encounters 
Wallace. Death of Sir John Grahame . . 260 

Interview between Wallace and Bruce . .271 

Burial of Sir John Grahame . . . 276 

The English harassed. Edward quits Scotland . 278 

Opposition to Wallace. He resigns the office of Regent 281 

Spirit of the Scots. Baliol released by Edward. Stir- 
ling taken from the English . . . 284 

Edward again invades Scotland. Siege of Caerlaverock. 
He receives a bull from the Pope. A truce . 288 



Wallace visits France. His encounter with the Red 
Reiver ...... 292 

Wallace in Guienne . . . . 301 

Another Truce ..... 304 

Battle of Roslyn. Wallace's return from France . 305 

Wallace sets out again for France. His combat with 
John of Lyn ..... 308 

Honours paid to Wallace in France. His proceedings 312 

Edward again invades Scotland. His successes. Com- 
pact between Bruce and Comyn . . .314 

Wallace still in France. He returns to Paris. His 
adventures at the French Court. His combat with 
a lion ...... 320 

Wallace's return to Scotland. His dangers from the 
English . . . . . .328 

Wallace in want of provisions. Attacked by five men 333 




Under this state of things, the towns of Dundee 
and Forfar, from the government of which the 
Earl of Angus had been removed, were garrisoned 
by English troops under the command of one 
Selby, the head of a freebooting family in Cumber- 
land ; a man of violence and cruelty, who oppressed 
the Scots of the towns and neighbourhood by every 
method that he found practicable. He had plenty 
of his countrymen to support him, for, as Dundee 
was easily accessible to the English, they flocked 
thither in great numbers, and spread from thence 
into the interior of the country, and were all disposed 
to treat the Scots as a conquered and debased 
people. Selby had a son, who was well inclined to 
imitate his father's example, and who conducted 
himself with insolence and brutality towards all 
that were too weak or timid to oppose him. 


Young Selby was accustomed to go frequently 
into the market-place at Dundee, when, attended 
by three or four companions of a character similar 
to his own, he would challenge the young men of 
the town to fence, or engage in other sports, and 
would avail himself of his father's authority, and 
his influence with the troops, to get the advantage, 
fairly or unfairly, over any that disputed the will 
either of himself or his comrades. 

He was occupied one day in this manner, when 
he observed a young Scottish gentleman passing 
by, who strongly attracted his attention. He was 
of tall stature, of a vigorous frame, and comely 
countenance, with a grave and thoughtful air. He 
was dressed in a suit of bright green, and at his 
belt hung a short sword in a handsome sheath. 
He addressed such as spoke to him with great 
courtesy, and appeared to be altogether a young 
man of superior breeding. 

Young Selby could not see a youth of such 
apparent distinction advance among the party, of 
which he himself wished to be the hero, without 
feeling maliciously disposed towards him, and con- 
ceiving a desire to insult and humiliate him ; and 
an opportunity soon offered for making the 
attempt. A dispute occurred about two quoits, 


one thrown by a man of Selby's English party, 
and the other by one of the townsmen, and each 
maintained that his own had alighted nearer the 
mark than that of his adversary. They had re- 
course to measurement, but so small was the differ- 
ence in the distances that to assign the advantage 
to either seemed impossible, yet neither was con- 
tent to allow his opponent the superiority, or to 
admit that the casts were equal. Matters were 
likely, however, to be amicably arranged, when the 
Scot in the green dress, who had been for some 
time listening to the contest, observed Selby, in 
passing from one side of the circle to the other, 
touch his friend's quoit gently with the side of his 
foot, so as to drive it a trifle nearer the mark. 
Just at that moment one of the party, attracted by 
the respectable appearance of the Scot, proposed to 
refer the settlement of the question to his arbi- 

Both sides having agreed to this suggestion, " I 
should have said, 1 ' remarked the Scot, " that the 
townsman's quoit was at first the nearer to the 
mark of the two ; but it is, I think, not so now, 
for I observed the gentleman who takes so promi- 
nent a part in your proceedings, touch his com- 
rade's quoit with his foot on the outer side, so 


that I consider it to be at present nearer to the 
mark than the other/ 9 

"I touched it not," retorted Selby; "or, if I 
did, it was but slightly and inadvertently." 

" I say not," said the Scot, in a calm tone, 
44 whether you touched it inadvertently or consci- 
ously ; I say only that you touched it." 

" Would you insinuate," asked Selby, sternly, 
44 that I meant to gain my friend the advantage by 
unfairness V 

44 I insinuate nothing/' replied the Scot ; " I 
merely state that which I saw." 

44 Thou art but a presumptuous fellow/' returned 
Solby, provoked by the other's tranquil bearing, 
44 to contradict me, who command here, and who 
can put down you and all your neighbours in a 

44 The power of which you boast," said the Scot, 
44 will not make that right which is wrong. Hard 
words will profit neither thee nor thy friend, in 
the matter of the quoit/ 1 

44 Thou wouldst make thy speech suit with thy rai- 
ment, M rotortod Solby ; t4 thy speech and thy gar- 
ments are alike too fine ; it would be better for 
theo to dross thyself more plainly, and to carry a 


whittle to cat thy meat rather than that fine- 
sheathed sword." 

As he spoke these words, and was turning away, 
he brushed rudely against the Scot, and desired 
one of the officers to take his sword from him. 

The Scot exclaimed, " I brook no insult, nor 
allow any one to use personal violence to me.' 1 

" What wilt thou do to prevent it ?" asked 
Selby, laying his hand on his sword. 

" I will oppose my short sword to thy longer 
one," replied the other ; and both growing exaspe- 
rated, a combat ensued, when the Scot, after a few 
passes, in which he showed extraordinary skill at his 
weapon, drove his sword with great ease through 
the body of Selby, who fell down senseless among 
his comrades. 




The Scot was not without his partisans, as well 
as Selby, and the adherents of each rushing for- 
ward, a fierce contest arose. The Scotchmen 
maintained their ground, and he in the green dress 
soon killed or disabled several of his opponents. 
But as troops quickly came up to support Selby's 
men, the other party were obliged to give ground, 
lest they should be overpowered and cut to pieces 
by superior numbers. 

The Scot gradually retreated for a while, keep- 
ing his opponents skilfully and bravely at bay, and 
then, seeing a favourable opportunity, turned his 
back upon them, and ran towards the suburbs with 
such speed of foot as defied them to overtake him. 
He made his way, after some turnings to perplex 
his pursuers, to a house at a short distance from 
the town, at the door of which a woman of middle 


age was just entering. "Save me!" he cried; 
" you know me well ; you are my uncle^s landlady. 
Let me in to find a hiding-place ; I have had a 
quarrel with the governors son, and have run him 
through the body, so that he is, I fear, dead." 

" It is an unlucky affair," said the woman, " but 
make haste in, and I will do my best to conceal 

As soon as the door was shut, " There is no 
place of concealment within the house," said she, 
" where careful searchers might not find you ; but 
I can dress you, I think, in such a way that it will 
be difficult for the keenest-eyed of them to know 

Accordingly, she took down from a peg, in great 
haste, a large full gown of a russet colour which 
she threw over his green dress ; she then placed a 
tall cap upon his head, with flaps that fell down 
over his shoulders, tied a broad kerchief round his 
neck, and telling him to keep his feet from peeping 
out beneath the skirt, directed him to sit down by 
a spinning wheel in the darkest part of the room. 
This disguise, though effected with great quick- 
ness, had scarcely been completed, when a noise 
was heard without, for the pursuers, having lost 
sight of the Scot, had resolved, being numerous, to 


spread themselves in different directions, and a 
party had been led, by suspicion or by chance, to 
the house in which he had taken refuge. 

" Hast thou a Scottish youth here, in a green 
jerkin V 9 cried one of them. " A fellow that has 
just killed the governor's son in a quarrel !" 

"Nay," replied she; "I have none here but 
this woman and myself whom thou seest before 
thee, and a lass in the kitchen. Thou mayest 
search the house from bottom to top if thou wilt." 

"Did no one recently come in at the gate!" 
said he. 

" There are two gates," replied she ; " no one 
could have entered at the gate nearest the door 
without my knowledge, but for the other gate I 
will not be answerable. Thou mayest go round to 
it and look about, and mayest search, as I told 
thee, wherever thou wilt." 

The party, in consequence, which consisted of 
seven or eight, spread themselves through the 
house, penetrating into every room in it. 

The disguised Scot, in the mean time, busied 
himself with such diligence and dexterity at the 
wheel, holding his head so as to shade his face 
without actually concealing it, that no one sus- 
pected him to be other than what he seemed. 


" We have found three women," said the leader 
of the band ; " but for the man that we want we 
must search elsewhere. 1 " 

All, therefore, withdrew. But many houses did 
not escape so well ; for numbers of Scots were 
killed or wounded by the English, wantonly, while 
they were prosecuting the search, during several 
hours afterwards, for- him of the green dress. 

The woman kept him with her all the evening, 
gave him plenty to eat and drink, and when it 
grew towards midnight, conducted him by a re- 
tired path to the bank of the Dee, over which river 
he made his escape in safety. 




The evening after this occurrence had taken 
place in the town of Dundee, George Duncan, one 
of the burghers of Ayr, who, like most of his class, 
hated Governor Selby's rule, chanced to meet John 
Blair, a Scotch student in divinity, a native of the 
place with whom he had before been casually 
thrown in contact, and, after some conversation on 
the events of the day, asked him if he knew any- 
thing of the youth that had killed the younger 

" I am aware, " said the burgher, "that his name 
is Wallace, for I have seen him in company with 
his uncle, a gentleman of that name, with whom I 
have a slight acquaintance. I think," he added, 
" that I have also seen you with the young man, 
in attendance on his uncle." 

" You are right," returned Blair. " William 


Wallace and I have been friends from early boy- 
hood ; we were scholars together at the school of 
this town." 

" He comes, I believe, from Renfrewshire," ob- 
served the other, "for I have heard his uncle 
say, if I mistake not, that he had a brother in 
that shire." 

"Yes," replied Blair; "he is the son of Sir 
Malcolm Wallace, of EUerslie, a descendant of a 
family of very great antiquity, said to have come 
originally from Normandy, or perhaps rather from 
Wales. Richard Wallace, more than a century 
ago, received a grant of land in Kyle, in Ayrshire, 
and founded on it a place which he called after 
himself, Richardtown, or Riccartown. The old 
name, as you doubtless know, is said to have been 
Galleius, but this Richard, or his son Richard who 
succeeded him, altered it into Walays, or Wallace. 
Adam, this young man's grandfather, left his son 
Malcolm the lands of EUerslie, and Malcolm mar- 
ried the daughter of Sir Ronald Crawford, formerly 
sheriff of Ayr." 

" Is his father in possession of EUerslie now V 
asked Duncan. 

" No," said the ecclesiastic ; " when King Ed- 
ward assumed a superiority over Scotland, and 



called on the Scottish nobles to swear allegiance to 
him, Sir Malcolm refused to take the oath, or to 
do anything adverse to the independence of his 
country. Fearing, in consequence, that he would 
be visited as a recusant, and knowing that his 
house was too weak to resist the king's troops, he 
sought refuge with his eldest son in the fastnesses 
of the Lennox Hills, and put his wife and his 
second son, our young friend, under the care of a 
relative at Kilspindie, a place about half-way be- 
tween this town and Perth. It was in consequence 
of his mother residing at Kilspindie, that he was 
sent to the Grammar School here. He has re- 
quested leave of his father to join him on the 
Lennox Hills, but his father, perhaps from unwil- 
lingness to expose him prematurely to danger, has 
refused it. Before he came to the school, he was 
for some time, during his boyhood, with an uncle at 
Dunipace, in Stirlingshire, an ecclesiastic, by whom 
he was well grounded in the rudiments of learning, 
and who is said to have inspired him with strong 
notions of the value of liberty, and of the duty of 
Scotchmen to keep their country independent. 




" His attention to his learning, and progress in it, 
were very commendable,' ' continued the student, 
as he and his companion walked round the square, 
" and he knows much more than a young man de- 
voted to a military life might be expected to know. 
For feats of arms he is excellently qualified. He 
possesses amazing strength, so that not one of his 
school-fellows, not even the son of Sir Neil Camp- 
bell, who was one of the strongest among us, could 
rival him at wrestling, or lifting weights, or any kind 
of exercise requiring bodily vigour. Nor is he less 
distinguished for speed than for force ; he would 
far outstrip the swiftest full-grown man that could 
be found to try a race with him. His skill at 
wielding the broad-sword and rapier is surprising; 
when he was taught to fence, instruction seemed 
superfluous to him ; such was the rapidity with 



which he acquired the use of the weapon, that he 
soon became far more than a match for his master; 
and when he takes a sword into his hand, and 
begins to brandish it, he seems to be inspired with 
might beyond that of mortals. The stoutest ten 
that could be set against him might quail at the 
sweep of his weapon 5 for the event of the contest, 
I should think, would be very doubtful. Of fear, 
I believe, he is insensible." 

"And how is he as to moral character? Is he 
equally praiseworthy in that respect ?" 

"He is a young man of the nicest sense of 
honour. It is impossible to conceive any human 
being more trustworthy, or kind hearted, or ready 
to serve his friends, than William Wallace. With 
injustice or oppression, he has no patience. He 
never could endure to see a bigger boy tyrannizing 
over a smaller, and always interfered in defence of 
those who could not defend themselves; the 
younger portion of the school had great cause to 
mourn when he left it. 

" I recollect a conversation which I had with 
him one day about our prospects and wishes in life. 
I expressed that inclination which I have always 
felt, to devote myself to learning ; I expatiated on 
the pleasure of reading all kinds of books ; of com- 


prehending the minds and characters of all great 
authors ; of knowing everything that what is 
called learning can put into our minds ; and of 
adding perhaps, during a long life of study, some- 
thing to the common literary stock. He could 
well understand, he said, the delights of such a life 
as I had described, and would devote himself to 
such pursuits if he felt within him less corporeal 
energy and stimulus to action ; feelings which he 
thought would make him restless in retirement, 
and which prompted him to seek an active part on 
the stage of the world. He cited Sallust, to the 
effect that he would rather perform what others 
might narrate, than narrate what others might 

u Young as he is, he sympathizes with his coun- 
try, and feels concerned for its degraded condition 
under the pretensions of the English king. He 
used to wish that some just chief would arise 
among the Scots, some one fitted by nature and 
by training for a leader, who would unite his 
countrymen as one man under him, inspire them 
with confidence to defy hosts, and lead them on to 
victory. How readily would he himself, he said, 
follow such a champion to the field !" 

" Well," said the other, "he may yet do some- 


thing in the field, whether as follower, or rather 
perhaps, possessing the qualities which you have 
specified, as leader. Scotland may not always be 
in the state in which she is at present ; and who- 
ever shall rise in her defence, will have my best 
wishes, and I have no doubt yours, as well as those 
of thousands of others, for his success. Resolution 
and combination are the requisites that we desire." 
The two friends then took leave of each other. 




While the town of Dundee was still in a state of 
excitement, and the soldiers continued to search 
for Wallace in every place where they thought it 
possible that he might be concealed, Wallace him- 
self had made his way from the banks of the Dee 
to Kilspindie, where his mother was still residing. 
The news that he had been engaged in some en- 
counter with an Englishman, and that his life was 
in danger, had before reached her, and she was 
in great apprehension that he might have already 
perished. On seeing him alive, she was transported 
with joy, and asked him all particulars concerning 
the occurrence. When he had given her a full 
account, " Alas ! my son," said she, " I fear that 
your boldness of spirit will be the cause of your 
death. I know what your feelings towards the 
English are, and I dread that you will persist in 


manifesting them so freely as to draw destruction 
upon yourself. How, indeed, are you to escape 
from this peril that you have incurred ?" 

fct Mother," he replied, " I have done only what 
I felt compelled to do. I cannot keep myself 
always in retirement, and, when I appear in public, 
I cannot allow myself to be insulted as young 
Selby insulted me ; nor could I refuse to take the 
part of any of my countrymen to whom I should 
see such insolence offered. I am sorry that the 
youth is slain, but I cannot reproach myself for 
having slain him rashly or without cause. I was 
attacked, and I defended myself." 

" Would to heaven they were not our masters !" 
said she ; " but as they are, small efforts at re- 
sistance will but irritate them more and more. 
Against you they must be exasperated ; and this 
place is much too near to the scene of strife for you 
to be safe in it. Parties in search of you will soon 
be here. We must think of some means for your 
escape, I have been for some time meditating $ 
pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Margaret at Lin- 
lithgow ; and from thence we may proceed to your 
uncle's house at Dunipace. You have but to put 
on a pilgrim's habit, and accompany me, and we 
can set off to-morrow morning*" 


"Very well, my dear mother," said Wallace, 
" I cannot singly resist a host, and must submit to 
the ignominy of flight." 

Lady Wallace had her dress ready, and another 
was soon procured for her son ; and they started at 
daybreak on the following morning. They made 
their way over the Ochil Hills to Dumfermline, 
crossed the Frith of Forth at Landors, and from 
thence proceeded to Linlithgow. If any of the 
English questioned them respecting their destina- 
tion, they were, on mentioning the name of St. 
Margaret, allowed to pass unmolested, for Mar- 
garet, who had been the queen of Malcolm Can- 
more, was of the royal lineage of England. 

From Linlithgow they succeeded in reaching 
Dunipace, where they were kindly received by 
Wallace's uncle, the ecclesiastic, and entertained 
for several days, no suspicion arising among the 
attendants that they were other than their dress 





Whilst Wallace resided here, he had several 
conversations with his uncle about his intentions 
regarding the future, and the condition of the 
country under the English. Wallace was of 
opinion that the Scots might regain their inde- 
pendence, if they would but rise up unanimously 
against their oppressors, on some appointed day, 
and put them to death ; or if they had but a leader 
who would enrol, secretly and gradually, a force 
that might suddenly take the field at different 
points, and expel the English from fortress after 
fortress before they could unite. 

" I see not the possibility at present," said his 
uncle, " of accomplishing what you desire. The 
English are numerous, and the Scots, I am sorry 
to say, want union, and, as you observe, a leader 
or leaders." 


" Yet with continued efforts," observed Wallace, 
" much might be done. It seems like presumption 
in me, youth as I am, even to wish that I had the 
power and influence to gather my countrymen into 
the battle-field ; for the desire of having such com- 
mand may seem to imply that I think myself 
worthy of it ; and I have so little knowledge of war- 
like matters, that I have no right to feel confidence 
that I should make an able leader; yet I may 
certainly say that if I had the opportunity I would 
endeavour to do my duty in that capacity. You, 
my dear uncle, have taught me how right and 
noble it is for a nation to preserve itself free and 
independent, and not to bow under the yoke of 
a neighbouring people. You have made me read, 
in the great poet of antiquity, that the day that 
makes a man a slave> takes away half his worth ; 
and it appears to be the same, in that respect, with 
nations as with individuals. If Scotland would 
stand proudly forth, as I would fein see her, she 
must release herself from the bonds which, I grieve 
to say, she has brought upon herself. Had she 
resisted, she might have repelled. But Baliol was 
weak, the nobles jealous of each other, and set at 
enmity by clandestine influence; and the conse- 
quence is that Scotland is oppressed. 


" But she is not yet," he continued, "contented 
under oppression. There are yet spirits within 
her who are as eager, I would fain hope, as I am 
myself, to rise for her delivery whenever fair occa- 
sion may present itself. We must wait. I shall 
do whatever I can to assist or to stimulate, and 
shall hold myself in readiness to take as prominent 
a part as I can when the time comes for action." 

When they had stayed a few days at Dunipace, 
Lady Wallace was anxious to remove to Ellerslie, 
As she and her son were setting out for that place, 
they received the sad news that her husband, Sir 
Malcolm Wallace, had been killed in a skirmish at 
Kyle, in Ayrshire, whither he had retreated, and 
where, at the head of a few retainers, he had been 
encountered by a superior English force under an 
officer named Fenwick. The same messenger that 
brought this account related also that young Wal- 
lace had been outlawed, and a reward offered foij 
his apprehension. 

They proceeded on their way with great sorrow 
of heart, but had the good fortune, by the aid of 
their pilgrims' dresses, to reach Ellerslie in safety. 
Here they were met by Sir Ronald Crawford, of 
Corsbie, Lady Wallace's brother, who had made 
submission to . Earl Percy, the governor of Ayr, 


and was in consequence under his protection, and 
had been allowed to retain his office of Sheriff of 
Ayrshire. He received them with great kindness, 
and offered to do whatever he could to serve them. 

She entreated her brother to procure peace for 
her also, as she was tired of fleeing from place to 
place, and was anxious to enjoy a little rest. Sho 
besought him, too, to endeavour to get the writ of 
outlawry against her son reversed, on the ground 
that he had slain Selby, not in cold blood but in 
the heat of a quarrel, arising from an insult that 
Selby had offered. 

Sir Ronald promised to do everything in his 
power for these purposes. But Wallace would not 
wait to see the effect of any representations on his 
behalf. He had seen his mother lodged in her 
home, he said, and it was time for him to seek 
some field of action. He was exasperated against 
the English on account of his father's death, as 
well as because of their treatment of himself, and 
their oppression of his country. 

Sir Ronald, indeed, was not anxious to detain 
him there. He knew the young man's qualities, 
and was desirous that a life which might some day 
be of the greatest value to his country, should not 
be lost. Though he was sheriff, he was conscious 


that he could afford him little protection against 
those that were eager to avenge Selby's death. 
He therefore recommended him to seek an asylum 
with his uncle Richard of Riccartoun, where he 
might remain concealed till some change for the 
better should occur. To Riccartoun, accordingly, 
Wallace proceeded, his mother taking leave of him 
with many tears, and entreating him to be careful 
of exposing his life to danger. 

u I will be careful, my dear mother," he replied, 
" but not too careful 5 I will not promise not to 
expose my life to danger, but I will promise to 
defend and preserve it to the utmost of my power, 
if it should be endangered." 




Sir Richard Wallace, of Riccartoun, had been 
greatly distinguished for valour and ability in the 
field of battle, but had lost his sight from the effects 
of wounds that he had received in an encounter 
with the English. He was still sound in mind, 
however, and gave his nephew excellent advice as 
to what might be done in the present condition of 
things in Scotland. He had three sons, who 
happened at this time to be away in a distant part 
of the country. 

Wallace, during his residence at Riccartoun, 
began to form acquaintance with a number of 
young men in those parts, many of them of good 
families, who were grievously discontented under 
the English rule, and who, being active and intre- 
pid, were ready to take part in any scheme that 
might promise to assist in throwing off the yoke 


which they detested. Several of them had depen- 
dents, whom they could easily induce to follow 
them in any attempt at a rising ; and they were 
likely, if they laid their plans well, to prove a band 
extremely formidable to their oppressors and ex- 
tremely beneficial to their friends. They held 
frequent meetings, and proposed and considered 
projects and means of communicating with other 
parts of the country, where 'they knew that there 
were spirits restless like their own ; but it was long 
before they could determine on any definite plan of 
action. Some of them were aware that Wallace 
was the youth who had killed Selby at Dundee, 
and others not, but those who knew were quite 
ready to keep his secret, or to imitate his example. 
One day in April, Wallace, to pass the time 
that occasionally hung heavy on his hands, went 
out to fish in the neighbouring river Irvine. He 
had no one with him but a boy to carry his net ; 
and his sword, for lightness, he had left at home. 
As he was proceeding very successfully with his 
angling, there rode by, about noon, Earl Percy, 
the governor of Ayr, with a numerous train, on his 
way to a fair at Glasgow. Percy stopped for a 
moment to look on Wallace's proceedings, and then 
rode on with the majority of his attendants. But 


five of them, inclined for some sport with the Scot, 
lingered behind, and one asked him for Marty rC 9 
fah^ a portion which, under that name, superiors 
were accustomed to demand from their dependents 
in the time of Lent. Wallace replied, very civilly, 
that he was willing to give him a part, and told 
the boy to hand him out some from the basket. 

" I think," said one of the others, dismounting, 
"that we had better help ourselves; this stingy 
Scot would give us too little 5 the whole would not 
be at all too much for us." 

As he spoke, he snatched the basket from the 
boy, and was preparing to carry it off, when Wal- 
lace said, " Nay, my good friend, leave us some 
part of our capture ; we meant them for an aged 
knight with whom this is a fast day." 

" There are more fish in the river," replied the 
other ; " you may continue your sport, and catch 
your aged knight a further supply 5 but all that is 
here shall be ours. If you serve a knight, we serve 
an earl, and the superior must have the preference." 

" Nay," rejoined Wallace, " you do us wj^ng, 
and would but tyrannise over us," and took hold 
of the basket to detain it. 

"Ah! Scot," retorted the other, "would you 
resist T and immediately drew his sword and began 


to flourish it about Wallace's head. Wallace had 
no weapon at hand but the pole of the net, which 
he immediately seized, and made his opponent's 
sword fly out of his hand. Wallace picked up the 
sword and stood upon his guard, while the rest, 
who saw that the affair was becoming serious, 
gathered round him with drawn weapons intent 
upon mischief. Wallace disposed of the foremost 
with a blow on the head, springing from the ground 
and striking with such force that the skull was 
cloven to the collar bone. The next he hit with 
such vigour on the right arm, that arm and sword 
fell to the ground together. The others turned 
and fled ; Wallace, mounting one of the horses, 
overtook and disabled the hindmost, but allowed 
the others to go unmolested. 

The two that escaped rode forward to Earl Percy, 
and called on him for help, " for," said they, " three 
of our number, who stayed behind to take fish from 
a Scot, are killed or disabled." 

" How many were your assailants ?" said the 

"We saw but one," replied he, "a desperate 
fellow who put us all to rout." 

" Indeed !" said the Earl with scorn, " I have a 
brave company of followers, who allow one Scot to 


be a match for five of them. It might be supposed 
that Lucifer himself has been making sport with 
you, and well you deserve to be delivered into his 
keeping. I shall not return to seek for your ad- 
versary, for, if I were to find him, I should respect 
him too much to do him harm." 

So saying, he ordered his train to proceed, and 
dismissed his discomfited troopers to the jeers of 
their companions. 

Wallace, in the mean time, left off his fishing, 
made his boy mount behind him, and rode off to 
his uncle's. " It was well," said he, "that I had 
the pole, or I should have come but ill off against 
five. I am sufficiently admonished not to go out 
without my sword again." 




Such was the second serious affray in which 
Wallace was engaged. When he gave his uncle 
an account of the occurrence, Sir Richard was of 
opinion that that part of the country would no 
longer be a safe residence for him, as there might 
be many of Earl Percy's followers disposed to 
avenge the deaths of their comrades. 

" Well," said Wallace, " I have a good steed 
which I have secured from the English fellows, 
and am prepared to ride in any direction which 
you may recommend to me." 

" You may ride over to Auchintruive," said 
his uncle, " about two miles on the other side of 
Ayr, where you may possibly remain unmolested 
for a while. If you should come in contact with 
any of Earl Percy's men, they may not, perhaps, 
when you have made some change in your dress, 


recognize you. Should you want any pecuniary 
supplies whilst you are there, do not hesitate to 
apply to me." Saying this, he put into his hands 
a purse of gold. 

At Auchintruive dwelt Sir Duncan Wallace, a 
distant connexion of the family, to whom Sir 
Eichard strongly recommended him. Two of Sir 
Eichard's sons, who had now returned, would 
gladly have accompanied him, but Wallace was 
unwilling to lead them into danger, and set out 
alone. By Sir Duncan he was kindly received 
and hospitably entertained. 

Here a number of the young men whom he had 
known before, with several others, who were roam- 
ing about the country, having been unsettled by the 
ill treatment of the English, began to gather round 
Wallace, who, they found, would be likely to prove 
an able leader in any enterprize that they might 
undertake. The country abounded in game, and 
Laglane Wood was near at h$tnd, so that wanderers 
easily found maintenance and shelter during the 
summer months, while they were laying plans 
for future proceedings. They were also greatly 
favoured and supported by the lower class of 
people in the neighbourhood; for, however well 
inclined many of the nobles might be towards 


Edward and the English, the poorer sort were 
ready to favour any attempt to expel the intruders 
from the country. A prophecy had also been 
recollected, that a Wallace should drive the Eng- 
lish from Scotland, and this supposed prediction 
made all, especially the humbler and more igno- 
rant, ready to further any undertaking that 
Wallace might propose. 

From hence he made frequent expeditions into 
various parts of the country, sometimes returning 
to Auchintruive, and sometimes spending several 
days and nights with his companions in hills and 

On one occasion he was seized with a strong 
desire to visit the town of Ayr, to ascertain what 
was the state of things there, and how the people 
were affected. The adventure was somewhat 
dangerous, but Wallace, in the ardour of youth, 
was little disposed to allow peril to be an obstacle 
to his desires. He .put on a dress which he 
thought would effectually disguise him, and, leav- 
ing his horse at the skirts of the wood, about two 
miles from the suburbs, he took his way to the 
city unattended except by his page. 

As he approached the middle of the town, he 
saw a great crowd collected, among which were 


several of Percy's men, who were boasting that 
the English were superior to the Scots in strength 
and feats of arms. One of them, a fellow of sturdy 
frame, was declaring that he could lift a greater 
weight than any two Scots that the town or 
country could produce. He also carried a pole 
with which he offered, for a groat, to let any 
Scotchman strike him on the back as hard as he 
pleased. Wallace was much amused with his 
vapourings, and offered him three groats for a 
blow. The fellow eagerly accepted the money, 
and presented his back for the stroke. Wallace 
struck, and the boaster fell-<lead at the feet of his 

The Englishmen, enraged at the death of their 
champion, drew their swords to take vengeance on 
his slayer. Wallace defended himself with the 
pole, and, striking one of his opponents on the 
head, broke his skull, and stretched him lifeless on 
the earth. Another he hit on the helmet with 
such force that he at once dislocated his neck and 
shivered the pole to pieces. The Englishmen, 
thinking him disarmed, rushed eagerly forward to 
overpower him, but felt a diminution of ardour 
when they saw him draw from under his garment 
a long sword, a weapon which he used with such 


effect, that he soon cleared a way through the 
multitude, and enabled himself to gain, through 
his extraordinary speed, the outlets of the city, 
whence he directed his course to the place where 
he had left his steed. But two troopers, mounting 
their horses, pursued and got sight of him, the 
foremost seeming resolved to attack him, but 
keeping at a distance, with a view to gain time 
till support should arrive. Wallace, however, 
beat down his sword with a blow that divided 
his skull. The other was making off, when 
Wallace, overtaking him, pierced his armour with 
a thrust that sent him lifeless from his saddle. 
He had now time to regain his horse, and was 
soon far away among the woods. Many attempted 
to discover his retreat, but to no purpose. 




He had escaped for the time ; but he was still 
inclined to be venturous, and to make expeditions 
into Ayr. He was ardent, and anxious to be 
doing something, and could not remain at rest. 

Having assumed another disguise, he was 
making his way through the suburbs of the city, 
when he saw a servant of his uncle, Sir Ronald, 
the sheriff of Ayr, carrying from the market some 
fish which he had bought for his master. As the 
servant was walking quietly along, a retainer of Earl 
Percy's accosted him, saying, in an insolent tone, 
" You Scot, to whom are you carrying that fish ?" 

" To my master, the sheriff," replied the youth. 

" "T will be better for me to carry it to my 
master, the Earl," rejoined the other; and was 
proceeding to take it from him, and to ill-treat 
the stripling, who resisted, when Wallace, in- 



dignant at the man's tyranny, entreated him, in 
mild terms, to let the sheriff's servant alone. The 
Earl's man was angry at his interference, and, 
after something more had been uttered on both 
sides, struck Wallace with a hunting staff that he 
had in his hand. Wallace repaid the blow by 
seizing him by the collar, and hurling him to the 
ground with such violence that he lay as dead. 

A number of the English soon gathered round 
Wallace, who, drawing his sword, ran the foremost 
through the body, and cut off the leg of the second 
above the knee. His assailants then kept at a 
distance from his weapon, but endeavoured to 
reach him with spears. He had, however, under 
his disguise, a strong coat of mail which helped to 
protect him from their violence; and several of 
their spear-heads he cut off with his sword. Seeing 
a by-street on his left hand, he darted down it, 
and sprung up on a low wall, on which he stood 
with his back against the gable of a house, present- 
ing himself to his opponents like a lion at bay. 
But a portion of the wall, partly from being 
unsound, and partly from being shaken by his 
adversaries, gave way; yet he still continued to 
defend himself, till, at length, his sword broke off 
at the hilt. He drew his dagger and killed three 


of his enemies, remaining himself still unwounded. 
But such numbers pressed upon him with spears 
and other weapons, that he was at last over- 
powered, and would have been put to death, but 
that an officer who was present ordered that he 
should be made prisoner. 

He was accordingly seized and bound, and led 
off to the gaol, where he was kept in strict con- 
finement till it should be known what was Earl 
Percy's pleasure respecting him. 






That he who had killed so many of Earl Percy's 
men should not have been put to death at once, 
may appear somewhat surprising. But Earl Percy 
was absent from home, and the officer who was 
present when Wallace was captured, well knowing 
the Earl's temper, was afraid to adopt any mea- 
sures respecting him before the Earl should be 
consulted. When a messenger was sent to Percy 
concerning the matter, he returned with strict 
orders that nothing should be done with the 
prisoner until he came back. Percy was an 
admirer of bravery, and was, perhaps, desirous to 
save Wallace, and to attach him to himself, not- 
withstanding the mischief that Wallace had done 

When Wallace's companions heard of his cap- 
tivity, they were in great concern and anxiety for 


the loss of their leader, and proposed and discussed 
among themselves many schemes for his delivery ; 
but the prison was too strong and too well guarded 
to allow much chance of success. His uncle and 
other relatives, in the absence of Earl Percy, 
could do nothing. 

The prisoner himself, meantime, was so much 
troubled at having brought himself into the power 
of his enemies by his rashness, that his dis- 
quietude, joined to the effects of bad diet and the 
foul air of the dungeon, soon threw him into a 
severe fit of sickness, from which, as no medical 
relief was afforded him by his keepers, he seemed 
not likely to recover. 

He lay moaning in his cell, mourning over his 
unhappy condition. " It is hard," said he to 
himself, " obliged to quit life at so early an 
age, for I begin to feel, or at least to dread, that, 
unless some efficient help is speedily sent me, my 
pulse will shortly cease to beat. Unhappy was 
the hour that embroiled me with the followers of 
Percy in the streets of Ayr ; unworthy was the 
sword that failed me when I most needed its aid ! 
Wretched is the condition of my country, oppressed 
by English tyrants, who have slain my father and 
iriany other honourable and valiant men, whose 


deaths I have earnestly hoped one day to assist 
in avenging; and am I to believe that I have 
hoped in vain, and to resign myself to utter 
despair? But if I must now die, may heaven 
soon raise up leaders to deliver Scotland from 
foreign domination, and inspire the whole people 
with resolution to expel invaders from their land!" 

As he uttered these lamentations, he fell into 
a swoon, in which he continued severaL hours, 
motionless and insensible. At this time Earl 
Percy chanced to return, and ordered Wallace 
to be brought before him; the gaoler reported 
that he was ill, and, going into his cell while he 
was in this senseless condition, to see whether he 
were at all recovered, found him, as he thought, 
dead. It was accordingly signified to the Earl 
that he was dead ; and the people of the gaol were 
about to cast him forth into the burial ground, 
when a woman that had been his nurse came to 
the £rate to solicit admission to him. 

" You may have admission to his body, 11 gaid 
the gaoler ; u his spirit is fled from the earth." 

Using great importunity, and supported by 
some friends in her application, the woman ob- 
tained permission to carry off Wallace's supposed 
cor|>ae in a car to her own house where she ior h 



him and put him into a warm bed. After a time, 
she thought that she perceived a slight motion in 
his heart, and, increasing the warmth about him 
as much as possible, saw him, at length, to her 
great joy, open his eyes. 

By careful treatment, and with the assistance of 
her daughter, the woman gradually succeeded in 
recovering him, though he continued for a long 
time extremely weak. They concealed him with 
great care, and, with the aid of some of Wallace's 
young friends, performed a fictitious funeral, weep- 
ing and assuming a garb of mourning, as for a 
dead friend. 

A trusty messenger was then sent to his mother 
to inform her of his recovery and escape from 
prison, at the news of which she was overjoyed. 
She had not, however, previously known of his 
illness, having heard only of his imprisonment, 
and having given up all hope that he would ever 
be freed from the hands of his enemies. She 
could not venture to visit him, for fear of betray- 
ing the secret of his escape, but she longed for 
the day when she should once more see him 
return to her in health. 




Such was the vigour of Wallace's constitution, 
that, when he began to revive, he soon recovered a 
large portion of his former strength. As soon as 
he was in a condition to leave the house of his pre- 
server, he proceeded to Ellerslie to visit his 
mother, who received him as one risen from the 
dead. He sent the woman that had saved his life, 
and her daughter, to reside with his mother at 
Ellerslie for protection. 

It chanced that Thomas the Rhymer, then an 
old man, was in that year residing at the Monas- 
tery of Faile, near Ayr, and having heard of Wal- 
lace's exploits against his English opponents, and 
being secretly informed, also, of his supposed death 
and escape from prison, came to visit him, and see 
what sort of person he was who had exhibited such 
brayery, and experienced such fortune. Finding 


that, in spite of the illness which he had recently 
suffered, his frame still promised great vigour, and 
that his mind was undaunted and hopeful, he 
looked on him with eyes beaming pleasure and 
satisfaction, and observed that it was to the efforts 
of such heroes that Scotland must trust to free 
herself from foreign interference. 

" If this great object ever be accomplished," said 
he, " it will not be effected in all probability with- 
out much bloodshed, and the loss of many of our 
brave countrymen. But may He that rules the 
course of events befriend us, and mayest thou, my 
son, live to take part in the deliverance of thy na- 
tive land, and to see its plains and its fortresses 
cleared of the traces of the invader !" 

Some time afterwards, when this visit of the 
Rhymer became known, the words which he had 
spoken, being imperfectly noised abroad, and trans- 
mitted with variations from one mouth to another, 
were gradually magnified into a prophecy, intima- 
ting that Wallace should deliver Scotland, with a 
mighty slaughter of her foes, from English domin- 





All who had known Wallace, with the exception 
of a few relatives and intimate friends, believed 
him dead ; but, while he remained at Ellerslie, he 
was completely restored to health. H« then re- 
solved to visit his uncle Sir Richard, at Ricoar- 
toun, who had so liberally promised him aid, and 
from whom he hoped to procure a horse and war- 
like equipments, and whatever else he might require 
for future adventures. 

Being obliged to proceed with caution, lest he 
should be recognized by his enemies, he disguised 
himself in the garb of a countryman. He had 
found at Ellerslie an old sword, much rusted, 
which had never been of the best quality, but 
which, wielded by a stout arm, might be of consi- 
kble service, and, attaching this weapon to his 
, he set out for his uncle's residence. 



It may seem strange that, though his disguise 
was not penetrated, he was yet unable to reach 
Biccartoun without being molested, and being drawn 
by the insults of an Englishman, and his own resolu- 
tion to bear no arrogance without resenting it, to 
engage in a battle. In a by-way communicating 
with the main road to Ayr, he met a squire named 
Longcastle returning from Glasgow, accompanied 
by two yeomen. Wallace stood up at the side of 
the way, and would have let them quietly pass, 
but Longcastle, with foolish insolence, reining up 
his horse, cried, 

" Stay, you Scot, why are you lurking about in 
these by-paths ? You can be here with no good 
purpose, armed with a sword, in such a garb. You 
are a spy, I suppose, or a thief." 

" Nay, sir," replied Wallace ; *' I bear neither 
of the characters which you impute to me. I am 
a peaceable man, and disposed to proceed quietly 
on my way. I did not stop your course, and I 
beg you to let me pass without farther interfer- 

" You are insolent," returned Longcastle. " It 
is not for you to throw words at me ; you shall go 
with me to Ayr, that it may be seen whether any 
one knows you. Mount up behind one of my yeo- 


As Wallace showed no inclination to obey, 
Longcastle sprung from his horse, and, drawing his 
sword, made a pass at him as if he would run him 
through. Wallace, stepping back, put himself on 
his guard, and after a few passes struck Longcastle 
such a blow on the head as stretched him lifeless. 
His two followers, who anticipated no such termin- 
ation to the combat, then sprung forward to re- 
venge their master's fall. One of them was soon 
killed, and the other took to flight, but Wallace, 
overtaking him, drove his sword through his ribs, 
and laid him on the earth with the other two. 

All this took place, as it chanced, without any 
travellers passing to witness it. Wallace took the 
squire's horse and accoutrements, and rode off" with 
all speed towards Riccartoun, where he arrived 
without farther interruption. Here he was heartily 
welcomed by Sir Richard and his three sons, and 
by his other uncle, Sir Ronald Crawford, who had 
ridden over from Corsby to visit Sir Richard. His 
mother, in a few days, came over also to Riccar- 
toun ; and Robert Boyd, a valiant and worthy 
friend of the family, soon after joined the party. 

Wallace told them how, by his adventure with 
Longcastle, he had supplied himself with a horse 
and warlike equipments; and all rejoiced at his 
escape from so many deadly perils. 


ttoofc II. 



Wallace was not inclined to continue long at 
rest. He had become sensible, by his adventures 
at Dundee and Ayr, that he was capable of doing 
something, and was resolved, either as leader or 
follower, to make some effort, and to support what- 
ever efforts might be made by others, to free the 
land from English rule. He was fired with indig- 
nation as he heard, from time to time, of the atro- 
cities committed by Edward at Berwick and Dun- 
bar, and determined to do whatever should be in 
his power to exact vengeance for them. 

He still retained the same notions as he had 
expressed in his conversation with his uncle re- 
garding the condition and prospects of his country, 
believing that much might be done for its deliver- 


ance by combination and union among the nobles 
and gentry, and that the reverses which the Scots 
had sustained in battle, had been occasioned rather 
by discord among themselves, than by superiority 
in valour on the side of their enemies. 

The land, in the mean time, was crying griev- 
ously for relief from one end to the other. The 
soldiery were daily advancing in licentiousness, 
and oppressing, with gross brutality, all that fell 
under their power ; the dwellings of the inhabitants 
were constantly invaded, and their domestic sensi- 
bility outraged ; the tenure of property was grow- 
ing more aud more insecure ; the exactions of 
Cressingham, and the license which he allowed his 
subordinates, put restrictions on the inland trade, 
and an entire stop to that with foreigners ; and all 
such of the people, whether noble or plebeian, as 
showed the least disposition to oppose the tyran- 
nical proceedings of the rulers, were in danger 
either of falling under the axe of the executioner, 
or of being doomed to languish out existence in 
Scottish or English dungeons. 

When it became known among Wallace's friends 
that he was at large, and recovering his vigour, a 
number of the young men, who had previously 
been with him at Laglane Wood, and the adjoin- 


ing parts, proceeded to collect about him again. 
Others, too, of greater age and repute, having 
heard of Wallace's extraordinary prowess in single 
combats, and being anxious to form acquaintance 
with a person of such valour, began to come among 
them. One of these was Sir Robert Boyd, a brave 
warrior, who had at first made submission to King 
Edward, but, having been disgusted with his oppres- 
sive treatment of Baliol, had subsequently deter- 
mined on taking part against him. Another was 
John Kneland, and a third Edward Little, both 
stout men at arms, and both related to Wallace. 
The three sons of Sir Richard Wallace, also, 
Adam, Richard, and Simon, were ready to enrol 
themselves among Wallace's adherents. 

With the aid of these associates, he began to 
organize a system of co-operation, and to prepare a 
basis for efforts of a more extensive nature. He 
trained his followers, by signals on the bugle horn, 
to assemble or disperse, to seek or quit their re- 
treats, as circumstances might require. This me- 
thod of discipline he gradually disseminated 
through a great portion of the Lowlands of Scot- 
land, so that whenever the notes of the bugle were 
sounded, whether by Wallace or his coadjutors, 
the adventurers, who heard and understood them, 


were ready to act in accordance with the intimation 
that they conveyed. 

Of all the resolute spirits that now gathered 
around him, none disputed his right to be their 
leader. Whatever jealousy they might feel of one 
another, and however ready they might be to dis- 
agree on minor points, they were all united in 
acknowledging that Wallace was fitted, alike men- 
tally and bodily, both to fight at their head and to 
direct their operations. 




His mother and uncles, and other friends, had 
at first tried to dissuade him from entering on so 
perilous a course of life ; but finding that their re- 
monstrances were of no weight with him, and that 
he was bent on a career of action, they at length 
allowed him to take his way, equipping him with 
whatever they could supply, and earnestly wishing 
him success. Wallace himself, indeed, considered 
that, as the writ of outlawry, notwithstanding his 
supposed death, was still in force, he should be 
safer among the woods and hills with his adherents 
within call, than remaining quietly at home where 
he might at any time be surprised and carried off, 
at the instigation of any maliciously disposed per- 
son, by a party of English troops. 

The first enterprise of any account that Wallace 
and his friends attempted, was an attack on a 


party of soldiers that were conveying provisions 
from Carlisle to the garrison at Ayr; a party under 
the command of Fenwick, the same officer that had 
been at the head of the troop by which Wallace's 
father had been killed. The Scots throughout the 
country were suffering from famine consequent on 
the war, but the English were well supplied from 
their own country. Wallace and fifty of his asso- 
ciates met on Mauchline Muir, and, proceeding 
from thence, came to a small tavern near Loudon, 
the owner of which informed them that he had 
seen a courier riding forward to announce the 
approach of the main body. The Scots, as it was 
then evening, took shelter for the night in the 
neighbouring wood, where, in the following forenoon, 
they received intelligence from two of their party 
sent out to watch, that the English were on the 
road. They then rode forward to Loudon Hill, on 
which Wallace arranged his men for the attack, 
their horses being left in the wood, as he thought 
that, from the nature of the ground, they would 
assail the enemy with more effect on foot. 

Before they entered on the strife they kneeled 
down and prayed for success. Wallace then said, 
" We shall now, if we exert ourselves, take 
vengeance on him who slew my father. I shall 


lead you to the charge ; you .have but to support 

Fenwick, who was at the head of two hundred 
men, seeing a body of Scots apparently menacing 
him, but observing that their number was small in 
comparison with his own, was in no apprehension 
of danger, but hoped to ride down the Scots at the 
first onset. He left twenty of his men with the 
waggons, and drew up the rest in battle array. 
But, as they rode forward towards the hill, a dry 
stone wall opposed their progress, and the Scots, 
taking advantage of the momentary confusion 
caused by this obstacle, made such a furious charge 
upon them with their spears as to throw them into 
complete disorder, and, pursuing their advantage, 
rushed into the midst of their body, making a fear- 
ful slaughter both of horses and men. The Eng- 
lish rode round about them, but the Scots, some 
with their lances, and others with their swords, 
kept them at a distance, and rendered all their 
efforts to make an impression on them ineffectual. 
Wallace thrust his spear through the body of the 
first Englishman that met him, breaking the shaft 
in the encounter ; but his sword was immediately 
drawn and wielded with terrible effect. Both sides 
fought with the utmost desperation, the English 


still hoping to overpower the Scots by their supe- 
riority of numbers. 

Fenwick, on a tall horse, and covered with glit- 
tering armour, was at length marked by Wallace, 
who, cutting down with his sword all that stood 
between them, rushed on him with the fury of a 
lion, and struck him with great force, yet not so 
effectually as to kill him, but only to dislodge him 
from his saddle, when Boyd, who was at hand, ran 
him through the body. Before he was dead, how- 
ever, the English crowded on with such vigour 
that Boyd was borne to the ground and nearly 
killed ; but Wallace raised him again, and the two 
together hewed a clear passage through the thickest 
of their enemies. 

When Fenwick had Mien, a squire named Beau- 
mont, a man of some repute in the field, cheered 
the English on to fresh efforts, but young Adam 
Wallace of Biccartoun, advancing to oppose him, 
struck him such a blow on the helmet as divided 
his head asunder. Many of the English then dis- 
mounted and fought on foot, but Wallace and his 
band made such unwearied resistance that the enemy 
at length lost all hope of safety except in flight. 
Some fled on horseback, and some on foot ; and the 
Scots remained masters of the field. One hundred 


of Fenwick's men were left on the ground ; on the 
side of Wallace were killed only three, two from 
Kyle, and one from Cunningham, all followers of 

The whole convoy was the prize of the victors, 
who became possessed of several waggons, two 
hundred carriage horses, flour, wine, and other 
stores, in abundance. Of this booty they gave a 
portion to the distressed inhabitants of the adjacent 
parts, and secured the remainder in the forest of 
Clydesdale, which then extended over a large tract 
of the country. 



Percy's proceedings, a truce. 

The fugitives carried the news of the disaster to 
the Castle of Ayr. Some of them said that they 
had recognized the leader as Wallace, who had 
been imprisoned in the gaol of Ayr for having slain 
Percy ""s men, and who had been carried away from 
thence as dead. 

" I have no doubt/' said Earl Percy, "that it is 
he. He that can cope with a score of enemies 
single-handed, is just the man to defeat two hun- 
dred at the head of fifty followers. It was an 
unlucky day for us when our gaolers were so dull 
of sight as to mistake a living man for a corpse. 
It will be difficult now to recapture him, for his 
success will doubtless attract others who are dis- 
affected towards the English, and who are nu- 
merous enough everywhere, to join his force. We 
shall feel the loss of this convoy heavily, and for 


the future, I fear, we must get our provisions by 
sea ; for no train of waggons coming by land will 
be safe from the attacks of Wallace or some of his 
adherents. It would be well for King Edward, I 
conceive, to have him for a friend, rather than an 
enemy, and I should be glad, from respect for hia 
bravery, if means could be found to draw him over 
to our side." 

The fame of Wallace spread gradually more and 
more both among the Scots and the English, the 
one looking to him with hope, the other with 
apprehension. He remained several days in 
Clydesdale forest unmolested, his party daily 
growing stronger, and he himself planning farther 
schemes for annoying and weakening the enemy. 

Percy, at last finding it necessary to do some- 
thing, called a council of the nobility at Glasgow, 
to deliberate on the state of affairs in that neigh- 
bourhood, and with a view, in particular, to the 
reduction of Wallace. Much was said by many 
speakers, but no leader professed himself bold 
enough to head an attack on Wallace in his fast- 
nesses. At last Sir Aymer de Vallence, a knight 
who dwelt at Bothwell in Lanarkshire, said, 

" I think that the safest method will be to make 
a truce with Wallace, until we can either bring a 


greater force to bear upon him, or consult King 
Edward how we ought to act. 11 

"I fear," replied Percy, "that we shall find it 
hard to prevail on him to make a truce with us ; 
for he is evidently wary and sagacious, and reso- 
lutely bent, as I hear, and as we may all suppose, 
on desperate measures against the English, the 
more especially as his followers are constantly be- 
coming more numerous." 

" He may, however, be moved by means of his 
kindred, 11 said Sir Aymer ; " we may call on his 
uncle, Sir Ronald Crawford, for instance, to induce 
his nephew to desist from hostilities, for a certain 
time; threatening, if he refuse to do so, to lay 
waste Sir Ronald's lands, or accuse him of treason 
to King Edward. Wallace will hardly suffer any 
harm to fall on his uncle, who has, I understand, 
greatly befriended and assisted him. 11 

This advice was approved, and the council was 
adjourned to another day, when Sir Ronald was 
brought before them, and enjoined to use every 
means to effect a truce between his nephew and the 
English, or his estates should be laid desolate, and 
he himself sent a prisoner to London. 

Sir Ronald replied, u My nephew will do nothing, 
I fear, for me; I am not able to control his 

sir Ronald's bond. 73 

actions 5 the English killed his father and put 
himself in prison, and he is exasperated against all 
that bear an English name." 

" If, then," returned Sir Aymer, " you do not 
use your endeavours for this purpose, we shall 
treat you as we have threatened, and King-Edward 
will bring such a force to bear upon Wallace, and 
all that adhere to him, as will effectually prevent 
annoyance from them for the future. Edward is 
already master, and no Wallace will wrest Scot- 
land from him." 

" Yes," said Percy, " our king, whether he be 
in the right or the wrong, is resolved to maintain 
possession of his conquest. But Wallace doubtless 
thinks himself at liberty, as long as he can main- 
tain a force about him, to offer all possible oppo- 
sition to the peaceful settlement of the English in 
this country. I am willing, however, to give you 
a bond, signed and sealed by myself, that Wallace 
shall receive no injury, for such time as the council 
may determine, from the English, if you will pre- 
vail with Wallace to give a similar bond that he 
will, for the same time, offer no molestation to us. 
But if you do not undertake this commission, you 
must suffer the penalties which we have de- 



Sir Ronald, perceiving that opposition was use- 
less, suffered the bond to be drawn, promised to 
confer with his nephew* on 'the subject, and pro- 
ceeded without delay to his retreat in Clydesdale 
Wood. Here he found Wallace and his party 
living in great comfort, with plenty of provisions 
of various kinds about them. When he bad been 
well entertained for a while, he gave him a full 
account of what Earl Percy and the council had 
stated, showed him the bond which he had received 
from Percy, and advised him to make a truce for a 
while, as it would indeed be for his own advantage, 
by allowing him more time to mature his plans for' 
future action. " And consider,' 1 said he, " that if 
you decline to listen to them, they are bent on des- 
troying not only me, but all your family and con- 

u I should be sorely grieved," returned Wallace, 
" that evil should fall upon you, uncle, or any 
other of my kin, for we have suffered enough al- 
ready ; yet I am strongly averse to any agreement 
with the English. What say you," said he to 
Boyd and his other leaders, "are you of the same 
feelings with myself ?" 

" Before this good knight, who has been so true 
a friend to us, suffer any harm," replied Boyd, 
" I would counsel that, however repugnant it be to 


our inclinations, we should make a temporary 
arrangement with the adversary. Percy, I must 
do him the justice to "say, is a true knight ; he is 
fierce in battle, but he is noble-minded and gene- 
rous of heart. What is the reason that instead of 
asking others to assail us, he does not lead a body 
of troops against us himself? Is it from fear ? I 
am not of that opinion ; I rather think that he 
wishes to show consideration for our leader, whose 
prowess he admires, perhaps with a view to draw 
him ultimately to King Edward's side." 

"That is a wish which he will never accom- 
plish," rejoined Wallace ; " but what say the rest 
of your 

Kneland agreed in opinion with Boyd, and Adam 
of Riccartoun expressed himself to the same effect. 

" Well," said Wallace, " I must not be more un- 
relenting than my fellows. But observe that it is 
only for my uncle's sake that I yield." 

A truce was accordingly made for two months ; 
during which time there was a partial separation of 
Wallace's party. They deposited the remains of 
the spoil in their houses, or in other places which 
they thought secure, appointing certain of their 
number to watch over it by turns ; and Wallace 
himself went to reside with his uncle at Corsbie. 

E 2 




He resided at Corsbie, but was extremely un- 
willing to remain inactive. He accordingly made 
various expeditions in different directions, to visit 
his old friends, and to endeavour to secure new 
ones ; and also to explore the country, and ascer- 
tain what parts of it would be most suitable for him 
as fields of action. 

Having employed himself in this way for some 
time, he became extremely anxious to enter the 
town of Ayr ; and to see how the people of the 
place were disposed to their rulers, or to himself. 
One day, in consequence, when his uncle was from 
home, he put on a disguise which concealed his ar- 
mour and sword, and taking with him fifteen of his 
people, disguised like himself, he proceeded towards 
the city. They left their horses in a place of 
safety without the town, and made their entries at 


different quarters, so as not to attract the notice of 
the townsmen. 

in one of the open parts of the city they found 
a crowd collected, in the midst of which was an 
Englishman, a master of the art of fencing, who, 
armed with sword and buckler, was challenging 
any one that was willing to encounter him, to a 
contest. Wallace saw several of his countrymen 
accept the challenge, and, after being defeated by 
the superior dexterity of their opponent, derided 
and insulted by the English soldiery. The chal- 
lenger, observing that Wallace was very attentive, 
and that he manifested, by his gestures, concern at 
the fortune of those defeated, called out to him, in 
the flush of success, " Dare you not try your skill, 

Wallace was not long in replying, and presented 
himself to the champion with his sword drawn. 
" Smite on," cried the Englishman 5 " I defy you 
to beat down my guard." The skill and efficiency 
with which Wallace used his weapon, soon con- 
vinced the spectators, as well as the swordsman 
himself, that a rival had entered the lists far 
superior to any of those that had preceded him. 
Having allowed his antagonist to flourish his wea- 
pon for a while, and to exhaust his strength in 


beating the air, Wallace assailed him in earnest, and 
at last, with a sweep of his sword that cut through 
arm, buckler, and skull, laid him dead at his feet. 

The English were at once astonished and irri- 
tated. They gathered round Wallace in great 
numbers, and sought to make him prisoner. But 
Wallace, nothing daunted, showed himself ready 
to use his broadsword on any that should lay 
hands upon him. His followers, in the mean time, 
were hurrying to his support, and the English 
soldiers, seeing them assemble about him, knew 
not what number tKey should have to encounter, 
and apprehended that their opponents were stronger 
than they really were. The body of the Scots, 
drawing back into a narrower piece of ground, kept 
their enemies effectually at bay, and seemed likely 
to accomplish their escape, when an additional force 
from the castle made its appearance. Seven score 
at least were now threatening sixteen, when Wal- 
lace, fearing that his retreat would be cut off if the 
contest were longer protracted, smote down the 
foremost of his assailants, and told his men to 
make the best of their way to the suburbs, while 
he himself endeavoured to protect their rear. At 
last, by desperate efforts, they all regained in safety 
the place where they had left their horses, and 

Percy's good feeling. 79 

rode off to their fastnesses in Laglane Wood, 
where none of their pursuers would venture to 
follow them. 

Several of the English were slain in this en- 
counter, and among them three of Earl Percy's 
own relatives. But Percy, though he easily 
learned that the leader in the fray was Wallace, 
would take no advantage of it to break the truce 
with him, because he found that he had slain the 
sword-player in fair combat, and that the English 
soldiery had been in the wrong in molesting him. 
He therefore contented himself with sending a 
messenger to his uncle, Sir Ronald Crawford, with 
a letter requesting him to keep Wallace from ex- 
posing himself in the city or neighbourhood, so as 
to provoke any affrays with the English, until the 
truce should be expired. 

Wallace, after spending some time in the forest, 
went to pay his respects to Sir Ronald, who showed 
him the letter that he had received from Earl 
Percy, and entreated him, for both their sakes, to 
abstain from all disputes with the English while 
the truce should last. " Stay with me," said Sir 
Ronald, " during that time, and you will then be 
unmolested, and free from all temptation to throw 
yourself into danger. ri 


" Nay," said Wallace, " I must be moving about 
occasionally, but I will keep you acquainted with 
my proceedings, and will undertake nothing of im- 
portance without your consent; and you shall have 
no cause to complain that I expose myself to un- 
necessary hazard before the day on which I shall 
be at liberty to act as I please." 

Thus his uncle and he continued fast friends ; 
but Wallace could rest nowhere, with comfort or 
satisfaction, as long as he saw the English masters 
of his country. 


Wallace's uncle illtreated. 

In the month of September, in the year 1296, 
a great council of the English lords, at which the 
Bishop of Durham presided, was held at Glasgow, 
for the purpose of making laws for Scotland. As 
the sheriffs of counties were summoned to attend, 
Sir Ronald Crawford, as sheriff of Ayr, was 
obliged to be present. He was escorted on his 
way, not only by his own retainers, but by Wal- 
lace and two of Wallace's adherents, well armed 
and equipped. 

In those days, the hostelries, or lodging-houses, 
were able to supply little more than mere shelter, 
and travellers, accordingly, who journeyed in any 
considerable number, were necessitated to carry 
with them their own provisions and other requi- 
sites. Sir Ronald's party were in consequence 
followed by sumpter horses bearing whatever they 
needed for their accommodation. 

E 5 


When they had ridden some distance, Wallace 
and his two friends chanced to fall behind. In 
the meantime Sir Ronald and the rest overtook 
the servants of Earl Percy, who were conveying 
their master's baggage. One of their sumpter 
horses having fallen lame, they stopped Sir Ronald 
and his party, and insisted on having a sumpter 
horse of theirs to supply its place. Sir Ronald 
remonstrated, but as they had the power to enforce 
their demand, his words were of no avail ; and one 
of the men, cutting the straps, let the sheriff's 
baggage fall to the ground. 

When Wallace came up, he was incensed at 
this affront to his uncle, and declared that ample 
vengeance should be exacted for it. He would 
have pursued and overtaken the men at once, had 
it not been for the truce, and for the promise made 
to his uncle to forbear from strife with the English. 
Sir Ronald, in consequence of the inconvenience, 
was obliged to remain a night longer on the road 
than he had intended. 

Sir Ronald made application to Earl Percy to 
have his horse restored, and to obtain some redress 
for the insult that had been put upon him. The 
Earl promised that ample justice should be done, 
but whether from his attention being occupied with 


other affairs, or from his orders having been given 
to men who thoughtlessly or wilfiilly neglected 
them, nothing was done in the matter. 

When the truce was expired, Wallace soon had 
an opportunity of taking the vengeance which he 
had meditated. Accompanied by two or three of 
his men, he met the same party of Percy's 
retainers bringing back their master's baggage from 
Glasgow. A contest ensued, in which two of the 
Earl's men were slain, and a portion of his effects, 
containing money and other valuables, captured. 




The trace expired without any communication 
concerning Wallace having arrived from King 
Edward. Wallace, after the violence committed 
on Percy's men, thought it not well to remain in 
the neighbourhood of Ayr, and, accordingly, pro- 
ceeded across the Clyde to the Lennox Hills, 
where he was earnestly welcomed by Malcolm, 
Earl of Lennox, to whom he was well known, and 
who had heard much of his exploits. Earl Mal- 
colm had made no submission to the English king, 
and was determined on maintaining, at the head 
of his tenantry, a struggle for independence. 

Percy, as may be supposed, was extremely 
enraged when he heard of the loss of his baggage. 
He conceived a suspicion that Sir Ronald Craw- 


ford had abetted or assisted Wallace in the out- 
rage, and had made preparation for the execution 
of it even before the truce was at an end. He 
therefore summoned a council at Ayr, and called 
Sir Ronald before it to be examined concerning 
the affair ; but Sir Ronald, though keenly inter- 
rogated, was able to clear himself effectually from 
all that was alleged or surmised against him, and 
to prove that he had no knowledge of his nephew's 
movements on that occasion. He was therefore 
left at peace, but Percy was resolved to keep a 
watchfiil eye on him for the future. 

Against Wallace himself an enactment was 
passed that he should be considered an enemy to 
the English government, and that every means 
should be used for his apprehension ; and even Sir 
Ronald himself was obliged to take an oath that 
he would afford him no shelter or assistance, and 
was threatened, as before, that if this oath were 
broken, his lands should be laid waste, and he 
should be expelled from his home as a disaffected 

Boyd, Kneland, Little, Adam Wallace of Ric- 
cartoun, and others of his friends whom he left 
behind him in Ayrshire, were greatly concerned at 
his absence, and feared that some evil had befallen 


him. Little went to Annandale, and others, for 
the present, to other parts of the country. 

In the meantime, Wallace was well entertained 
by the Earl of Lennox, who was so sensible of 
his] merits as a leader, that he offered him the 
command of all his men, a warlike and formidable 
troop, provided that he would remain with him 
for the defence of that part of the country. But 
Wallace was too eager for larger schemes of action, 
to be willing to confine his exertions within the 
limits of a particular district, and, on explaining 
his views to the Earl, he found no difficulty in 
gaining his approval of them, and inducing him 
to promise his co-operation in whatever plans for 
the deliverance of the country might hereafter 
appear practicable. 

As many came, from time to time, to offer to 
join them, Wallace began to organize a force to 
act in that guerilla species of warfare which he had 
previously meditated. He received all comers 
that seemed of a trustworthy character, and, with 
the concurrence of the Earl, and in his presence, 
called upon them to take an oath of adherence to 
him as their leader. 

Among those who joined him at this time was 
Stephen of Ireland, a native of Argyleshire, so 


called because his forefathers had come from Ire- 
land. He brought with him several men, and 
afterwards continued a firm and faithful adherent 
to Wallace throughout all the variety of fortune 
that attended him. Another that came to him 
was Mac Fadyan, who had previously taken an oath 
of allegiance to King Edward. At the same time, 
Fawdoun, a native of Ireland, offered his services 
and took the oath ; a person of tall stature and 
stout frame, but of a melancholy temperament and 
aspect, always gloomy and sad, and never allowing 
a smile to cross his countenance. 

He was also joined by William Ker and Sir 
Hugh de Gray, both of whom had been with him 
in the encounter at Loudon Hill. 

With this force Wallace acquainted the Earl of 
Lennox that he was determined to try what could 
be done to arouse the people of the north. 




He took leave with every expression of kindness 
of the worthy Earl, who offered him large gifts, 
but Wallace would take nothing, as he was very 
well provided from the valuables found in Percy's 
baggage, and from the supplies which he had 
received from his uncle, Sir Ronald. On the 
contrary, he himself gave many presents at part- 
ing to both poor and rich, for he was princely in 
his generosity, towards all those that showed him 
friendship, whenever he had the means. 

At the head of sixty brave followers, he took 
his way through the Lennox Hills in the direction 
of Leckie, near which place he found shelter in a 
rude and decayed place of defence. The first 
enterprise which he meditated, was an attack on 
a small fortress in the neighbourhood, recently 


erected by the English, and called, from the parish 
in which it stood, the Peel of Gargonnock. It 
had a numerous garrison, who caused much annoy- 
ance to the people of those parts, and was well 
stored with provisions, and surrounded by a deep 
ditch. It was at no great distance from Stirling, 
and the name of its commandant was Captain 

Some of the peasantry, who earnestly wished to 
see the English expelled from it, gave information 
to Wallace that the watch was often negligently 
kept, and the drawbridge sometimes left down 
during the night, for the purpose of giving entrance 
early in the morning to the labourers that were 
employed about the place. Wallace sent two of 
his men, about the middle of the following night, 
to see if this intelligence was correct; and they 
brought back word that they had found the bridge 
lowered, and the sentinel asleep, but that the 
door was strongly secured by a ponderous bar. 

Wallace immediately led forward his men for 
an attack. They reached the walls unmolested, 
but found a bar opposing their entrance, such as 
the scouts had described ; and it seemed no easy 
matter to dislodge it from the wall. Bat Wallace, 
applying his full strength to it, tore it from the 


socket in which it rested, and brought down three 
yards of the masonry with it, while his men stood 
gazing at the effort in amazement, and declared 
that he had done more with his own hands, than 
a score of them could have done together. He 
then burst in the door with his foot, making the 
brass and iron fastenings fly on every side. The 
garrison was soon roused; the porter presented 
himself to Wallace, and struck at him with a 
heavy mace, but Wallace wrested it from him in 
a moment, and felled him with his own weapon. 
The next person that he met was the captain, who 
was armed in a similar manner, but was soon 
cloven to the neck by Wallace's sword. The 
Scots then easily dealt with the rest of the gar- 
rison, twenty-two of whom were put to death. 
The women and children that were found in the 
place, among whom were the wife and three 
children of the commandant, were treated kindly, 
supplied with provisions, and allowed to depart 
whithersoever they chose. 

Here Wallace and his party remained four days, 
during which they spoiled the place of everything 
valuable; and the leader divided a large sum of 
money, which was found in it, equally among his 
followers. Such of the spoil as they did not need, 


they distributed among the poor people of the 
country. They then demolished the fortress, and 
took up their quarters in the neighbouring wood, 
being animated by this success to farther events 
against the oppressors of their country. 




As it was not easy to traverse the forests on 
horseback, they proceeded mostly on foot, and 
kept but few horses with them. Stephen of Ire- 
land, who was well acquainted with the country, 
was their guide, and led them in the direction of 
Kincardine. They rested in a wood on the banks 
of the Teith, when Wallace, seeing numbers of 
deer, brought down a fine hart with an arrow, and 
supplied his party with abundance of venison. 

Soon after, they crossed the Teith into Strathern, 
taking covert ways for fear of coming in contact 
with any large bodies of English troops. They 
halted in Methuen Wood, whence Wallace, with 
seven of his best men, of whom Ker was one, 
resolved on making an expedition to Perth. He 
gave his staff of steel, a prize which he had carried 


off from Gargunnock, to Ker, and left Stephen of 
Ireland to command the party till his return, 
telling him to remain in that place for at least 
seven days. 

As the gates of Perth were under the charge 
of the mayor, Wallace, on entering, asked to 
see him. The mayor received him with great 
courtesy, and inquired his name, and whether he 
and his followers were all Scots and men of peace. 
Wallace assured him that they intended him no 
ill, and said that his name was William Malcolm- 
son, and that he had been living in Ettrick Forest, 
but was desirous to explore the north country to 
see whether he could find a residence that would 
please him better. 

" I do not ask," said the mayor, " from any 
foolish curiosity or evil intention, but because we 
have received tidings that one Wallace, from the 
west country, is roaming hither and thither with 
a band of marauders, and doing whatever mischief 
he can to King Edward's men. A truce was 
made with him awhile ago by Earl Percy, who 
commands in Ayr, but the term of it has now 
expired, and he is henceforth to be treated as an 
outlaw, and captured or slain by any that may 
be able to master him/' 


" Ah !" replied Wallace, " I have no news to 
give you of him. He is, doubtless, anxious 
enough to prevent you from getting the mastery 
over him." 

The interview ended by Wallace being allowed 
to enter the town, and the mayor procured for him 
accommodation at an inn, where he and his atten- 
dants might lodge comfortably together. Ker 
acted as steward, and obtained for them the best 
of the provisions that were to be had in the city. 

Wallace mingled with the people of the place, 
both Scotch and English ; and the English would, 
at times, invite him to drink, but he was not often 
disposed to accept their invitations, being more 
inclined to entertain his countrymen than to re- 
ceive favours from their enemies. 

He made acquaintance also with some women of 
the place, with one of whom he became very in- 
timate, and often met her in the evenings, paying 
her such attention as a lover pays to a mistress. 

His object in visiting Perth, was to ascertain 
whether it were possible, with the force which he 
had left in the wood, to surprise the town ; but he 
found strong walls, a deep fosse, and too numerous 
a garrison. "It is worse/' he would say to him- 
self, as he walked along the streets, " than the 


tortures of evil spirits to see these oppressors of 
our country exulting over it, and enjoying them- 
selves in it at -their ease, while we can offer no 
opposition to them, and may scarcely even venture 
to look them in the face. My power, I regret to 
see, is too small to master the place, and in making 
any attempt to get possession of it, I should but 
expose myself to peril that could bring no profit. 
I might set it on fire ; but to what purpose ? I 
should but endanger myself and my men, and 
perhaps bring more harm on my own party than 
on the enemy. I must therefore remain quiet 
while I stay, but my stay must soon have an end." 
He heard, however, that a party of soldiers were 
about to leave Perth for Kincleven, under the 
command of Sir James Butler, a brave old English 
knight, who was governor of Kincleven Castle, 
and had obtained these troops from Perth for the 
reinforcement of his garrison. Having ascertained 
the exact time at which they would leave the city, * 
he took leave of his female friend, and repaired to 
Methuen Wood, where his men, at the sound of 
his horn, joyfully gathered around him, expressing 
their delight at seeing him safe, and asking him 
questions respecting his adventures. Wallace 
answered a few of their inquiries, but told them 


that he had no time to relate particulars, as they 
must immediately prepare for action. They were 
not long in making themselves ready, and marched 
out of the wood in fair array, and full of hope and 
spirit, towards the road to Kincleven. Wallace 
placed them in ambush in a thick wood by the 
banks of the Tay, and posted scouts to watch the 
approach of the English, who were soon seen 
approaching, to the number of ninety, all well 
armed and mounted. Wallace was pleased that 
the number, though far superior to that of his 
own party, was no greater, and led forth his men 
from their place of concealment. The English 
were surprised, and wondered what they meant; 
but quickly perceiving that their intentions were 
hostile, prepared for an encounter; and, hurling 
their spears, galloped forward, thinking to ride 
down the Scots at the first charge. But Wallace 
and his band of heroes went fearlessly among them, 
and slew several at the first onset. Wallace struck 
down the man that met him, but broke his spear 
in the effort ; then, drawing his sword, he cleared 
a way through the host, men and horses falling 
disabled one upon another under the lightning-like 
rapidity of his blows. Sir James Butler alighted, 
thinking to defend himself better on foot, and, well 


supported by his men, who fought desperately, laid 
several of the Scots dead on the field. Wallace 
was moved at the sight, and hastened, in wrath, to 
stop his course. The combat between them was 
short ; the veteran defended himself bravely, but 
was no match for the strength and agility of his 
younger adversary, who, at length, springing for- 
ward, struck him with such force on the head that 
the sword passed through helmet and skull, and 
stretched him lifeless in a moment. 

Stephen of Ireland, meanwhile, was exerting 
himself to the utmost in support of his chief 5 and 
Ker, with his steel mace, was doing fearful exeeu- 
on on all that opposed him. At last the English, 
seeing their leader fallen, and finding that they 
could make no impression on their fierce assailants, 
lost heart, and took to flight, leaving sixty of their 
number dead on the field. 

The fugitives sped rapidly towards Kincleven, 
and the Scots followed them with equal expedition. 
A few men at arms had been left to guard the 
fortress, who eagerly let down the bridge and set 
open the gates to admit their friends, but were so 
closely followed by the Scots that the pursued and 
the pursuers entered the place together. The 
resistance which the English attempted to make 



was useless, and the whole of the inhabitants, with 
the exception of two priests and some women 
and children, were put to the sword. 

The Scots then buried the dead, among whom 
were five of their own number, and took precau- 
tions against surprise. They continued in the 
castle seven days, and found in it a rich booty 
of gold and silver, with stores of provisions and 
other necessaries, a large portion of which they 
conveyed by night to Shortwood Shaw, a wood 
at no great distance, and deposited in places of 
concealment as resources against future need. 

At the end of the seven days, when they had 
taken all that they thought proper, they sent 
away the women and children, and other prisoners, 
and treated the fort as they had treated that of 
Gargunnock, burning everything combustible, rend- 
ing stone from stone, and levelling the whole as 
far as was possible with the ground. 




The smoke of the burning castle was the first 
intimation, to the people of the country at a 
distance, that the Scots were masters of the place, 
for Wallace, after having gained the victory, had 
carried on his proceedings with such caution, and 
had been so well screened by his adherents in the 
immediate neighbourhood, that, though it was 
known in most quarters that there had been a 
battle, it had reached the ears of but few that the 
fortress had changed its inhabitants. 

Had the Scottish leader had a sufficient number 
of followers, he would doubtless have preferred to 
leave garrisons in such fortresses as those of Gar- 
gunnock and Kincleven instead of destroying 
them; but, as he was unable to 1 part -with any 
portion of his force, he prudently resolved to 
demolish, as: far as he could, whatever places were 



likely to prove strongholds for the enemy. He 
and his men were so hardy by nature, and so well 
inured to inclemency of weather, that they cared 
little for other shelter than that which they could 
find in the woods, where they could sleep in 
summer under trees, and in winter in caverns of 
the rocks. They now retired to Shortwood Shaw, 
and found a strong position, where, under Wallace"^ 
direction, they constructed five strong defences 
of timber, in the form of squares, with a sixth of 
larger dimensions, from which were made passages 
communicating with all the others. 

Captain Thirlwall's wife carried a full account 
of what had occurred at Kincleven to Sir Gerald 
Heron, the governor of Perth ; who, fired with 
indignation, and having no doubt that Wallace 
was the perpetrator of the outrage, drew out the 
whole force of the garrison, amounting to a thou- 
sand men, under the command of himself, Sir John 
Butler, the son. of the deceased Sir James, and 
Sir William de Lorayne, his nephew, an officer 
of reputation, to attack and capture the outlaw. 

Sir John Butler entered the wood with two 
hundred men, eager to take vengeance for the 
death of his father. Wallace had not completed 
his defences when he saw the English approaching; 


and, in order to gain time, advanced with a few 
of his followers to the skirts of the wood, leaving 
the rest, under Stephen of Ireland, to finish the 
arrangement of the timber. At the point to 
which he proceeded, he found a hollow, which he 
was able partially to fortify by throwing trees 
across it, and from the one side of which he and 
his men could issue forth into the plain, or from 
the other into the wood, as circumstances might 
render eligible. He had with him only twenty 
archers to oppose one hundred and forty English, 
who were supported by eighty spearmen ; but the 
English were ignorant of the number of their 
adversaries, and advanced as if to attack a large 
host, pouring their arrows into the thicket in such 
multitudes, that the Scots would have been utterly 
destroyed, but for the success with which they 
contrived to shelter themselves behind the trees. 
Wallace himself had a bow of great strength, 
which no arm but his own could draw, and from 
which he discharged long and sharp arrows among 
the English with deadly effect. His men also 
shot, but with less execution than their chief, for 
the Scottish archers in general were inferior to 
the English, as they seldom applied steadily 
and patiently to archery practice, preferring to 


acquire skill at the more active exercise of the 
broadsword and target. Notwithstanding their 
care, too, several of the Scots were wounded ; and 
at last Wallace himself was shot in the neck, 
through his collar of steel, by a skilful bowman 
who caught a favourable opportunity for taking 
aim, as the leader put out his he&d at an opening 
to reconnoitre the enemy. Wallace watched the 
man who had hit him, and, springing out at the 
side of the hollow, cut him down with his sword 
before he could release himself from the bushes, 
in which, thinking more of his bow than of his 
heels, he had got himself entangled. 

Wallace had now killed fifteen with his own 
hand, but the arrows of the Scots were beginning 
to fail, while the English archers were well sup- 
plied. He saw that he must make some despe- 
rate effort, or be ultimately surrounded and cut 
to pieces. Sir William Lorayne, with three 
hundred men, was keeping watch on one side of 
the wood, while Sir Gerald Heron, who, as being 
older and less active than the other commanders, 
had remained with a body of reserve without the 
, was now sending Sir John Butler with five 
[red men into the midst of it to ascertain the 
Lees and the number of the enemy. To oppose 


these, Wallace had only fifty men in all, a few 
of whom were wounded by arrows. But he was 
determined to defy the whole host single-handed, 
rather than be taken alive. His first move was 
towards the squares of timber, where he had left 
Stephen of Ireland and his other men. Here, 
however, the English began to gather round them 
in great numbers, and must have overwhelmed 
them, but that their wooden defences were of 
great service in protecting them, and that their 
chief displayed his utmost valour, and animated 
them to resistance by his exhortations and his 
example. Seeing Butler advancing, he burst forth 
on him like a thunderbolt, and struck him to the 
ground with a blow that would have rendered him 
lifeless, had not a branch of a tree partially in- 
tercepted it, when his men, rushing forward, with- 
drew him from his assailant before another stroke 
could be given. Wallace continued to spread, at 
every sweep of his sword, destruction among his 
adversaries; and Sir William Lorayne, angry at 
the protracted resistance, and the loss of men, 
urged forward his followers on the flank of the 
Scots, but Wallace, who, from time to time, cast 
his eyes warily around, perceived his coming 
through the trees, and, retiring a space, and 


springing out at the side of his fortification, was 
upon him before he was aware, and taught him 
that his steel gorget was but a slight defence 
against a ponderous broadsword wielded by an 
arm of gigantic might. Metal and bone were at 
once cloven through, and Sir William fell dead 
among his men that were coming to support him. 
This being done, Wallace withdrew to the back 
of his entrenchment, and sounded on his horn a 
blast that rung through the whole wood. The 
notes so startled the English, who feared that it 
might be a signal for an advance of strength to 
their enemies, that their officers thought it best 
to retreat for a while, and hold a council with Sir 
Gerald as to what was best to be done. 

Though the English were much dispirited by 
the loss of one of their leaders, and the disable- 
ment of the other, the result of their deliberations 
was that they would make a new effort, and assail 
the defences of the Scots simultaneously on all 
sides. During the discussion, however, Wallace 
and his companions withdrew by the opposite side 
of the forest, and effected their retreat, without 
farther molestation, to Cargill Wood, a position 
which afforded them many natural advantages for 
shelter and security. 


A hundred and twenty of the English were 
left dead on the scene of the struggle. Of the 
Scots several were wounded, but, from the effi- 
ciency of their defences and shelter, only seven 
were killed. Wallace's hurt was but of slight 





The English, finding that the objects of their 
attack had vanished, proceeded to search the wood 
from end to end for the money and other spoil 
that had been carried off from Kincleven Castle ; 
but so well had the Scots concealed their prey 
that they found nothing except Sir James Butler's 
horse, which Wallace had been obliged to leave 
behind. Discomfited and disappointed, they re- 
turned in sad plight to Perth. 

The second night after the battle, a party of 
the Scots ventured back again to Shortwood Shaw, 
and took away their hidden stores. They then 
removed to Methuen Wood, where they remained 
two days, and in the following night withdrew to 
Elcho Park, which Wallace thought an eligible 
position, and in which he intended to remain some 
days to allow his men an opportunity of recruiting 
their strength and recovering from their wounds. 

Wallace's boldness. 107 

After a short rest, growing weary of inaction, 
he resolved on making an expedition to Perth, to 
visit the woman with whom he had made acquaint- 
ance during his previous stay in that city. Among 
the spoil that had heen brought from Kincleven, 
he found the entire robes of a priest, in which he 
contrived skilfully to disguise himself; and, pur- 
suing his way wkh his usual fearlessness, yet 
with great wariness and caution, he succeeded in 
entering Perth without obstruction. 

He reached the woman's house about noon, and 
stayed there till the evening, when he took his 
leave, making an appointment to visit her again 
on the third day after. But he was not so for- 
tunate in quitting the city as he had been in 
going into it, for he chanced to be noticed on the 
road near the city, by a person who bore him no 
good-will, and who, though it was dusk, thought 
he could not be mistaken in conceiving that he 
saw the form and features of Wallace. He accord- 
ingly went to Sir Gerald Heron, and to Sir John 
Butler, and told them that the Scottish chief had 
been in the city, and had but recently left it. 

Their thoughts immediately reverted to the 
woman with whom he was known to be acquainted, 
and for the sake of visiting whom they considered 


it likely that he might have ventured into the 
city. They therefore caused her to be brought 
before them, and charged her with harbouring 
their mortal enemy. She persisted, for a long 
time, in denying all knowledge of Wallace, but 
being threatened with torture if she continued to 
use concealment, and promised wealth and honour 
if she disclosed what she knew, her fears and her 
cupidity were so excited, that she at length con- 
fessed to them that she expected him again to 
visit her, not, however telling them on what day, 
but promising to let them know when he came. 
Overjoyed at this information, they kept an extra- 
ordinary number of sentinels at the gates, the 
bravest men that they could select, and hoped 
for the destruction of their great enemy. 

Wallace, on the day appointed, entered the city 
in the same disguise as before, without being 
questioned. When the woman saw him, she was 
so pleased with his manner towards her, that she 
began half to repent of her promised treachery. 
Yet, resolving to persist, she asked Wallace 
whether it would not be better for him to stay 
in the city all night, than to trust himself on 
the road during the darkness. 

"No," said Wallace; "my men will expect 

DANGER. 109 

me in the evening, and will be alarmed if I do 
not join them; and, besides, I have affairs to 
arrange with them." 

" Woe is me," cried she, bursting into tears, 
" that ever I was born ! I shall be the accursed 
cause of destruction to the best man that is on 
the face of the earth. How could I be so weak 
to engage in anything so disgraceful? Would 
that I could bring the whole mischance upon 
myself! I deserve to be put to death with the 
severest of tortures.' ' 

Wallace, seeing her in this distress, and being 
unable to understand to what she alluded, began 
to question and try to comfort her. " Surely/' 
said he, " I have done nothing to afflict you. 
Tell me if I have done anything to cause you 
the least trouble." 

" No," said she, "it is only I that have acted 
foolishly and wickedly. I have been beguiled by 
your enemies to acquaint them when you came; 
I shall be forced to keep my word, or be put to 
death, and you will be seized and slain." She 
then told him the history of her temptation and 
treachery from beginning to end. " How I repent 

now!" said she; "gladly would I be burnt to 


death, if I could but save you and regain your 
esteem ! " 

" Well," said Wallace, "you have acted wrong, 
but I must endeavour to do the best for myself 
that is practicable in the case. If you will with- 
hold information of my coming from the autho- 
rities, I will at once try to make my escape." 

" You must not go in this priest's dress, then," 
said she, "for they are aware in what disguise 
you come. You must take a portion of my 
apparel, and disguise yourself as a woman ." 

44 It will be difficult," said Wallace, "for I am 
somewhat large to personate a female. But we 
must see what can be done. If I get free, I for- 
give you, and may you never be guilty of 
treachery again ! Nothing can be a keener source 
of regret to any mind than the consciousness of 
having betrayed a friend." 

It was with some difficulty that he concealed 
his long sword, his never-failing companion, under 
the woman's garb. But having at last, by lengthen- 
ing the skirts, made her garments reach his feet, 
and having enveloped the upper part of his person 
in an ample plaid, taking, at the same time, a 
stick, and stooping as much like an old woman 
as possible, he directed his way, by the back of 


the woman's house, to the south gate, and telling 
the men who were posted there, as he went out, 
to make haste to the woman's dwelling if they 
wished to catch Wallace, he passed through with- 
out delay, rejoicing exceedingly when he found 
himself on the outside. The great strides which 
he took, however, when he was a short distance 
from the walls, and had raised his back from its 
stooping posture, startled two of the soldiers that 
were nearest him, and who saw that he had 
suddenly grown into a very tall woman, so much 
that they at once started in pursuit of him ; but 
Wallace, hearing their steps behind him, and 
having had time to disengage his sword from 
beneath his dress, turned about, and mowed down 
his two pursuers with two sweeps of his weapon, 
and then started into the country with his usual 
unrivalled speed. 




When it was discovered that the woman had 
allowed Wallace to escape, the indignation of Sir 
Gerald Heron and Sir John Butler against her 
was fierce and inextinguishable ; they led a party 
of soldiers to her house, and burst it open, with 
an intent to take her prisoner, but she contrived, 
amid the crowd that gathered round the spot, 
to elude their search. 

As they learned, however, from the direction 
in which the dead bodies of the men killed by 
Wallace were found, that he had fled towards 
Elcho Park, they led out a body of troops, to 
the number of not less than six hundred, towards 
that stronghold, taking with them a blood-hound 
of a famous breed from Gillsland, and accustomed 
to coursing in Liddesdale and on the Esk. When 


they came to the wood, Sir Gerald, as before, took 
post on the outside, with half their force, and Sir 
John Butler proceeded into the interior, with the 
other half, to destroy or drive out the enemy. 

Wallace and his men would gladly have re- 
treated, but found no outlet, so that they were 
obliged to prepare themselves for combat, forty 
against three hundred. They resolved upon 
making a sally, and such was the vigour and 
spirit with which they charged their opponents — 
Wallace opening a wide passage among them — 
that forty were killed in the first struggle, while 
they lost fifteen of their own number. By this 
disastrous attack, Butler's men were thrown into 
such disorder, that the Scots made their way, in 
spite of all efforts to prevent them, to the bank of 
the river Tay, which they would have crossed, but 
that the water was too deep to wade, and half of 
them could not swim ; so that Wallace resolved 
rather to make another effort for defence, than to 
leave a portion of his men to be cut to pieces 
by the enemy. 

Both sides, accordingly, prepared anew for the 
fight; Butler put his men in the best possible 
array, and determined on attempting to crush 
Wallace with one overwhelming charge, while the 


Scots, on their side, were resolved to repel their 
enemies or die in the attempt. Wallace exerted 
his whole strength and activity, and endeavoured, 
as the readiest way of ending the encounter, to 
cut down Butler, who, however, was in such a 
positiop under an oak, that a fair pass could not 
be obtained at him ; yet the Scottish leader, mak- 
ing a dash forward at the head of his whole force, 
succeeded in gaining a passage through the wood 
that led him clear of his English enemies. Sixty 
of Butler's men were killed in this second engage- 
ment, and nine of the Scots. Stephen of Ireland 
and Ker had supported their leader with undaunted 

Wallace had now only sixteen men left of all 
that he had brought from the Lennox Hills, and 
with these he purposed to direct his course towards 
Gask Wood, but the English followed so close 
upon them, that he thought it better, after a while, 
to choose another route towards a station about 
two miles distant ; to which, as night was coming 
on, they had great hopes of securing their retreat. 
But, as they drew near the place, the Irishman, 
Fawdoun, who, as has been said, was of a sullen 
and unaccommodating disposition, sat down, and, 
on pretence of being exhausted, refused to proceed 



farther. Wallace, suspecting him of an intention 
to betray him to the enemy, was unwilling to 
leave him behind, and urged him to proceed, 
telling him* that the stronghold to which they 
were going was at no great distance. But he 
obstinately persisted in remaining behind, and, as 
he appeared no more fatigued than the rest of 
the party, Wallace, convinced that he meditated 
treachery, and determined that neither his own 
life nor those of others should be sacrificed to it, 
struck off his head with his sword. 

This was stern and sudden vengeance ; but the 
followers of Wallace were satisfied that it was just, 
and beheld the infliction of it without a murmur, 
for they had previously felt assured that Fawdoun 
was not to be trusted. Wallace was of too 
humane and considerate a disposition to have put 
one of his party to death without being fully per- 
suaded that he deserved it. 

As the night had now set in, Stephen and Ker, 
having no apprehension of being surprised by the 
enemy, loitered a little behind Wallace, without 
his knowledge, and, while they did so, the hound, 
which the English had still kept with them, came 
up to the body of Fawdoun, and stopped at it, nor 
would it proceed farther. A crowd of English 


quickly came up to the spot, among whom was Sir 
Gerald Heron. Stephen and Ker, who had not 
lost sight of the place, mingled, under favour of the 
darkness, with the English ; and, as Sir Gerald 
was stooping to examine Fawdoun's body, Ker, 
watching an opportunity, wounded him, with an 
upward sweep of his sword, in the neck. The cry 
of "Treason" was raised among the English, but 
Stephen and Ker, in the confusion, escaped among 
the surrounding brushwood, and, having lost, by 
this delay, the direction of Wallace^ route, made 
their way towards Loch Earne, on the woody and 
rugged banks of which they hoped to find security 
for the night. 




Forty men conveyed the dead body of Sir 
Gerald Heron back to Perth. Butler was grieved 
for his death ; " But," said he, " Wallace cannot 
be far off, and these woods can afford him but little 
concealment or defence ; so that, in order to cap- 
ture him, we have but to keep the ground con- 
stantly beset." Parties were posted accordingly 
for the night at Dalreoch and Dupplin. 

Wallace, in the mean time, after seeking as long 
•and as far as he could venture, for his two asso- 
ciates, fearing that they were taken or killed, made 
his way, with a heavy heart, to Gask Castle, 
where, as it was free from enemies, he and his 
party, now only thirteen, proceeded to take up 
their quarters for a time, and, with two sheep 
caught from a neighbouring fold, contrived to pre- 


pare a repast, of which they were greatly in 

When their hunger was appeased, they began 
to think of taking repose, and arranged that two of 
their number, in turn, should watch while the 
others rested, settling by lot who should be the 
sentinels. Wallace was one of those to whom it 
first fell to sleep. As he lay down, his mind was 
filled with melancholy thoughts ; he reflected that 
his little band was almost brought to nothing ; 
that two of his staunchest adherents had disap- 
peared; that he had little prospect of collecting 
fresh forces; and that, consequently, he could 
entertain but small hope of realizing his plans for 
the deliverance of his country. Overwhelmed with 
these gloomy considerations, he thought, after he 
fell asleep, that he heard horns in the neighbouring 
wood; that he sent out his men, one after the 
other, to ascertain the cause of the noise, and that 
none of them returned ; and that, as he remained 
alone, there suddenly rose before him the form of a 
human body, bearing in its hand its own head, 
which, after attentively considering the features, 
he recognized as that of F,iwdoun, when the figure 
slowly raised its hand, and hurled the head at him. 
The action awoke him ; he started up, and resolved 


to make his way out from the building, which he 
accordingly quitted by a side staircase, leaving 
his men in the hall. To his other anxious re- 
flections, as he wandered through the wood, was 
added grief that he had been obliged to put Faw- 
doun to death, but he consoled himself with the 
consciousness that he had done what he thought 
right in the emergency. 

In the morning, as he reached the banks of the 
Earne, he fell in with Sir John Butler, who, eager 
for Wallace's capture, had ridden forth early, and 
alone, to explore the fords of the river. As he did 
not know Wallace personally, he asked him who 
he was. 

"lama true man," replied Wallace, " and am 
pursuing my way towards Doune, the dwelling of 
Sir John Stewart.'" 

"I doubt thy truth," retorted Butler, "and 
suspect that thou art one of Wallace's followers, 
the marauding outlaw. I make thee my prisoner," 
added he, and was going to lay hands on the chief, 
when Wallace, drawing his sword, struck him on 
the thigh, severing the limb in two, and then, 
seizing his bridle, swept his head from his 

At this instant one of Butler's men, who had 


also ridden out to explore, came up, and, seeing 
Butler's fell, galloped towards Wallace with his 
spear in rest 5 but Wallace snatched the spear from 
his hand, and, springing on Butler's swift horse, 
rode off before the man could make a second attack 
on him with his sword. 

Believing, however, that it was Wallace with 
whom he had encountered, he returned to his 
party, and raised a hue and cry after the fugitive. 
Pursuers were spread in all directions, and, though 
his horse was strong, and he was well acquainted 
with the country, yet he was greatly afraid of 
being surprised before he could gain a place of 
safety. He alighted at the Black Ford, and 
allowed his horse to rest a while. Just as he was 
remounting, a party of his enemies, who had been 
directed to the point, came hotly upon him, but he 
was enabled to make a stand in a place where he 
could not be surrounded, and, having slain the 
foremost of his assailants, again rode off ahead of 
them. Coming to a moss, his horse sank, and he 
was obliged to abandon him, when, pursuing his 
way on foot, and occasionally concealing himself 
among the long heather, he struck off towards the 
Forth, and, knowing that Stirling Bridge was 
guarded by the enemy, took the direction of Cam- 

REFUGE. 121 

buskenneth, where he swam safely across the 

Nearly exhausted with fatigue' and hunger, he 
reached, by dawn on the following morning, the 
house of a widow, whom he knew, in the Torwood, 
an extensive forest in Stirlingshire. Here he was 
gladly received and sheltered, and found that rest 
and food of which he stood so much in need. 




When Wallace was sufficiently refreshed, he 
began to feel solicitous about his men, and des- 
patched a messenger to Gask Castle to ascertain if 
they were still there. 

The widow could hardly venture, for fear of the 
English who traversed the country, to keep Wal- 
lace constantly in her house, and he was accord- 
ingly concealed at times, when any danger was 
apprehended, in an obscure part of the wood, and 
frequently in the cavity of an old oak which was 
at no great distance from the widow's residence. 
The widow had three sons, all ready to serve him ; 
two of whom kept watch about his retreat, while 


the third went to Dunipace to inform his uncle, 
the ecclesiastic, of his arrival in the Torwood. 

His uncle immediately came to visit him. 
When he reached the widow's cottage, Wallace 
was asleep in his retreat, to which the two young 
men conducted him. 

u Alas !" said he to himself, as he contemplated 
him sleeping, " here is a young man, who hopes, 
by the might of his arm, to repress the whole 
power of England ; he is now, by the ill favour of 
fortune, left without a single follower; and a 
woman might kill him with a potsherd, as Abime- 
lech was slain of old." 

A rustling which his uncle made in passing 
through the trees, awoke Wallace, and they took a 
walk in the wood together. 

" Art thou not wearied," inquired his uncle, 
" with thy expeditions through the country, and 
thy encounters with enemies so much stronger than 

" I am indeed nearly exhausted, my dear uncle," 
replied Wallace ; "I had almost given up hope of 
escaping with life. But Fortune, though she has not 
been very favourable, cannot have been altogether 
hostile to me, or I should never have made my 
way from Perth hither. All that I have done and 




suffered before, is nothing to what I have attempted 
and experienced on this last occasion. I am bruised 
with strokes received in combat ; I have suffered 
from loss of blood ; I was obliged to plunge into 
cold water when I was warm ; and I have been 
surrounded with perils as scarcely ever man was 
before. But I have been less concerned at my own 
sufferings and dangers than at the loss of my men, 
who, by adhering to me, have either encountered 
death, or are still in jeopardy." 

" And does not your present condition, my dear 
nephew," said the ecclesiastic, " convince you that 
it is hopeless to persevere in the career on which 
you have entered? You are without supporters, 
and, even if you could gather a force about you, 
and make head against the stranger for a time, do 
you not suppose that Edward would still find 
means to put a stop to your progress, and that, 
rather than allow you to establish yourself in 
power, he would throw the whole force of his king- 
dom on our country to overwhelm us? Will it 
not be wiser and better for you to make submission 
to him as others have done ? He may then (for, 
being brave himself, he doubtless admires bravery 
in others) grant you an honourable settlement, 
perhaps a barony, and you may in such a position, 


with your talents and energy, render yourself one 
of the most powerful adherents to his crown/' 

*' It is in vain," replied Wallace, "to urge me 
with such arguments. I like better to combat with 
the English who slew my father than receive the 
highest favour from their king. I regret that I 
have had no better success, and that I have lost so 
many faithful and noble-spirited followers ; but I 
will still continue the struggle ; I will aid in the 
delivery of my country from unprincipled oppres- 
sion, or perish in repeated efforts in her cause. I 
reminded you once before, my dear uncle, of the 
impressions which you gave me, in my boyhood, of 
the value of liberty ; and I must ask you again 
whether what you said is not as just now as it was 
then. Would it not be better for Scotland to have 
her own sovereign, and to hold up her head as an 
independent kingdom, than to groan under the 
tyrannical yoke of a usurper ? Shall we make no 
efforts to bring about such a state of things ? Shall 
we forget all that Greek and Eoman history has 
taught us of patriotism ! Is anything necessary 
for our restoration but union among our powerful 
ones ! Have we not arms to act effectually, if we 
but act in concert V 

The ecclesiastic saw that it was in vain to oppose 


resolutions and principles so fixed in his nephew"^ 
mind, and, therefore, determined on leaving him to 
take his own course. 

As the dialogue concluded, Wallace was cheered 
and encouraged by the arrival of Ker and Stephen 
of Ireland, who were delighted at rejoining their 
chief. They told him of the death of Sir Gerald 
Heron, of their wanderings through the country in 
search of their leader, arid of the end which was 
put to their perplexity by the offer of a true Scot 
to guide them to Duuipace, whither they were going 
when they chanced to light on Wallace in his pre- 
sent retreat. 

At this time the messenger returned that Wal- 
lace had sent to Gask Castle, and brought word 
that he had found the castle in good condition; 
that he had seen no marks of fighting within the 
walls, though he had observed many .on the out- 
side, as well as the dead body of Wallace's horse 
on the road 5 but that he could gain no tidings of 
the men whom Wallace had left. 




Wallace soon resolved upon quitting the forest, 
and engaging in new scenes of action. He was 
furnished with a supply of money by his uncle, 
and some of his other relations with whom he had 
found means to communicate ; the two elder sons 
of the widow were ready to accompany him ; and, 
attended by them, with Ker and Stephen of Ire- 
land, he proceeded towards the west, where he 
hoped to find the Scotch more ready to support 
him than he had found them in the neighbourhood 
of Perth. 

The first place at which he made any stay, in 
his way towards Clydesdale, was Dundaff Castle, 
which, with the lands of Strathblane and Strath- 
carron, was held by Sir John Grahame, an old 
knight, who had distinguished himself at the battle 
of Largs, and who, though he had not taken the 


oath of allegiance to Edward, had yet found it 
necessary, for the peace of his declining days, to 
remain quiet, and pay tribute to the ruling power. 
He had a son, also named John, who had been 
knighted, when he was little more than a boy, at 
Berwick, for his bravery in an encounter on the 
borders with the Percys of Northumberland. Here 
Wallace was entertained, for three days and nights, 
with the most liberal hospitality, and the old chief, 
whose heart was with Wallace in his aspirations 
for the delivery of Scotland, saw, with the greatest 
pleasure, that he and his son John regarded each 
other with the sincerest feelings of esteem and 
affection, and were fast entering into a warm and 
close friendship. These sentiments the father en- 
couraged and cherished with such effect, that, 
before Wallace's departure, the two young men 
took an oath of mutual fidelity over a shield, in the 
old man's presence, promising to be true shields or 
defenders one to the other to the end of their 

When Wallace was about to take his leave, Sir 
John the younger would have accompanied him, 
but Wallace, from better experience of the state of 
things, counselled him to make for the present no 
open demonstration of his intentions, but to remain 

T*T^ i -^rir~" i MrTrf*^ iii' "Wr i ""^ '"~f •"rjj i 'w'vj t" .11 ■ ^ l * | ff ^jMy T r !!_ «»'•' -? 


with his father until he himself should have ascer- 
tained what force he was likely to muster among 
his friends in Clydesdale; and to this proposal 
Grahame at last assented, promising to be ready 
for action, at the head of his father's vassals, when- 
ever he should receive intelligence that his co-ope- 
ration was desired. 

On quitting Dundaff, Wallace and his four 
adherents proceeded to Bothwell, where he lodged 
at the house of a man named Crawford, from whom 
he gained much information as to the condition of 
the country. He then went forward to Gilbank, 
where another of his uncles, commonly called 
Auchinleck, brother to the Sheriff of Ayr, resided. 
From hence he dispatched Ker, to find, if possible, 
his old friend Robert Boyd, and to acquaint Sir 
Ronald of Corsbie, Sir Bryce Blair, and Adam 
Wallace of Riccartoun, with his condition and 
views, and to arrange means of communication with 
them. In the promotion of these objects, John 
Blair the priest, his old school-fellow, was confi- 
dentially and frequently employed. 

In the mean time news had spread among the 
English of the burning of Kincleven Castle, the 
deaths of Sir Gerald Heron and Butler at Perth, 
and the slaughters in the skirmishes at Shortwood 



Shaw, and the parts adjacent. This intelligence 
created some consternation, but as Wallace had not 
been seen by any of the English after his departure 
from Grask Castle, it was generally supposed that 
he must have been drowned in attempting to cross 
the Forth. Another report, arising probably from 
the occurrences attendant on the death of Fawdoun, 
stated that he had been slain in a mutiny of his 
followers. On the whole it was commonly believed 
by the English that their great enemy must have 
perished. But Percy, the governor of Ayr, who 
made all possible inquiries to ascertain the truth, 
was of a different opinion, having no doubt that 
Wallace^ sagacity and energy had rescued him 
from his perils, and that he would appear again to 
make farther attempts on those whom he chose to 
have for adversaries. 

" Would he but be King Edward's liegeman," 
said he, " instead of his foe, our rule over Scotland 
might have a better chance of being established in 

Sir John Stewart was appointed Governor of 
Perth in the room of Sir James Butler. 




Wallace remained at Grilbank till after Christmas, 
and, as it was at no great distance from Lanark, 
he often made expeditions thither, sometimes 
alone, and sometimes with his associates, for 

The Sheriff or Governor of Lanarkshire, in those 
days, was an Englishman named Hazelrigg, re- 
sident in Lanark, a man of little moral principle, 
and of a tyrannical disposition, who had made 
himself much feared and hated by the people. 

There lived in Lanark, at that time, a young 
woman of great beauty and amiableness, a daughter 
of Hugh Braidfoot of Lamington, who, as well as 
his wife, had been some time dead, but who was 
remembered with much respect, as a man of in- 
tegrity and honour, by the people of the neighbour- 
hood. She inherited her father's property, and 


had purchased protection of the English by paying 
an annual tribute. Hazelrigg, the Governor, had 
acted ill towards her ; he had occasioned the death 
of her brother, who should have been his father's 
heir ; he exacted from her more taxes than it was 
just for her to pay ; and it was believed that he 
thought of forcing her to marry his eldest son. 
But having no near relative to defend her, she was 
obliged to endure his proceedings with patience ; 
and such was her own humility of mind, and meek- 
ness of disposition, that she was unwilling to com- 
plain unless she was compelled ; while her friends 
also feared that remonstrances on their parts might 
provoke the Governor to additional harshness, not 
only towards herself, but towards others. 

This lady Wallace had seen as she was on her 
way to the church, and had been struck with her 
beauty and graceful bearing. He made inquiries 
respecting her, and discovered that she was of 
excellent parentage and descent. He felt strongly 
attracted towards her, but was unwilling to indulge 
his inclination, reflecting, not only how he had 
been deceived by the last object of his affections at 
Perth, but how improper it would be for him, in 
his present uncertain condition, and with the 
objects that he had in view in regard to his coun- 


try, to involve himself in matrimonial engage- 
ments. Sometimes he thought of fleeing from the 
place, that he might never see her more, but he 
could not gather resolution to carry this thought 
into effect. 

At last he spoke to Ker on the subject. "As 
you like the lady," said Ker, " and are satisfied 
with her character and lineage, why should you 
not offer her marriage? You have been deceived 
by one woman, but you need hardly fear being 
deceived by another, who is held in so much esteem. " 

" Would that I could see an end of these wars 
and disturbances," said Wallace ; " and behold our 
country restored to its proper and rightful condi- 
tion, and I might then think of settling down as a 
quiet country house-holder. But at present an 
entanglement of this kind is what I ought rather 
to shun than to meditate. I ought to persist in 
adherence to my schemes of action, until I either 
attain success, or convince myself that to succeed 
is impossible. Attachment to a bride, and domestic 
cares, would but engross my attention, and leave 
me only half a mind to devote to any projects for 
the public." 

44 Well," rejoined Ker, " if you make advances 
to her, it is not necessary that you should enter 


into matrimonial bonds at this very time. You 
may visit her, and confer with her, and tell her of 
your views and hopes, and secure her affection, 
deferring the celebration of marriage fco some future 

This counsel was so much in agreement with 
Wallace's own feelings and inclinations, that he 
could not forbear compliance with it. He found 
no difficulty in procuring access to the lady 
through some of his friends, and, as they were 
pleased with one another at their first interview, 
he afterwards visited her frequently. But he was 
obliged to make his visits as little publicly as 
possible, because Hazelrigg, with his designs on 
her for his son, had his eyes on her proceedings, 
and was anxious to prevent her from doing any- 
thing that might interfere with his object. Wal- 
lace, therefore, used to enter her house by a private 
way through a garden. 

She threw herself entirely upon his honour, and 
professed herself ready, as his wife, to devote her 
life to his service. Wallace told her his reasons 
for not wishing to marry immediately, and she 
admitted the justice of them ; and it was thus 
understood between them that they were engaged 
to each other, but that their marriage was to be 
deferred till a more favourable time. 




One day Wallace rode over, attended by his four 
companions, to Torheid, where Thomas Halliday, 
a cousin of his, and a large landed-proprietor, re- 
sided. Here he was well received, and met with 
Edward Little, whom he had not seen since he 
parted with him and Boyd to visit the Earl of 

When they had enjoyed one another's company 
here for three days, they projected an expedition to 
Lochmaben Castle in Dumfrieshire. With their 
retainers, they formed a company of sixteen, all of 
whom, with the exception of Halliday, Little, and 
Ker, Wallace left, when they approached the place, 
in an adjoining forest called Knockwood. The 
four rode forward into the town, and put up at an 
inn, from whence, after having ordered dinner, they 
went to hear mass at the church, dreading no 


interruption from the English or any other 

During their absence, young Clifford, cousin to 
the Lord Clifford, and four other young men of his 
train, happened to alight at the inn. He was a 
presuming youth, proud of some success which he 
had had at tilting, and ready for any mischievous 
pranks. He asked the landlady whose fine horses 
those were in the stable, and she replied that they 
belonged to four gentlemen that had come from the 

"What demon, "said he, "tempts Scotchmen to 
ride such flashy beasts V 9 and, as soon as he had 
uttered the words, cut off a large portion of the 
four horses 1 tails. 

Wallace and his friends soon after returned, and, 
finding tho animals bleeding, and learning who had 
committed the outrage, immediately mounted and 
pursued after the party. As Wallace drew near 
them, he addressed them, though enraged, in a 
jocular tone, saying, " My good friends, stay till I 
make you a fair return for the operation which you 
have beon kind enough to perform on our horses. 
I shall not offer you any fee, but shall repay one 
experiment by another ; and, as you have shown 
us how the men of your country let blood, I will 


show you how we of this country let it." Thus 
speaking, with his sword drawn, he overtook Clif- 
ford, and cleft his head to the neck, cutting down 
with a second blow one of his followers, while 
Halliday and his companions despatched the other 

They then returned to the inn, and, taking the 
horses of Clifford and his party with them, as well 
as their own mutilated beasts, paid their reckoning, 
and rode off without waiting to dine ; for they 
considered that the death of Clifford must soon 
become known, and that parties would immediately 
be sent in pursuit of them. Nor were they de- 
ceived in their supposition; for a force of a hundred 
and fifty men was speedily sent from Lochmaben 
in search of Wallace and his followers, who rode 
straight to the Knockwood to join the rest of their 
party ; but, as the wood was small, and could 
afford but little protection, Wallace recommended 
that they should seek some stronger position ; and 
they accordingly led their horses up a height to a 
place called Easter Muir, being greatly afraid, at 
the same time, that the wounded animals would 
faint on the way. 

It was not long before the English force appeared, 
clad in glittering armour; and their mounted 


archers, as they came up, discharged their long 
arrows, and wounded two of Wallace's men. The 
chief, seeing his friends bleed, was enraged, and 
headed a charge. against the enemy, in which the 
Scots bore down sixteen of their opponents, and, 
continuing the strife, disabled fifteen more. The 
rest were seized with a panic, and fled ; and the 
Scots meditated pursuit, but Halliday discovered 
another body of English awaiting them on another 
quarter, and advised Wallace to retreat. 

The Scots moved off towards the Torheid ; the 
English started in pursuit. Sir Hugh Moreland, 
one of the most esteemed warriors from the north 
of England, well armed and mounted, was at the 
head of the pursuers. Wallace, seeing how his foes 
were coming on, and thinking it well to rid him- 
self, if possible, of their leader, caused his troop, 
after a while, to halt, and, taking post under a 
large oak, and awaiting Moreland's approach, he 
rushed forth on him as he came up, and clove his 
shoulder with one stroke of his two-handed sword. 
He then leaped on Moreland's horse, for his own 
was exhausted by fatigue and loss of blood, but 
could not succeed in getting off before the English 
came up and surrounded him. His men, however, 
soon hurried to his rescue ; and the encounter was 


prolonged for some time with great fury on both 
sides. Halliday, whose horse was also spent, and 
who had not been able to secure another, main- 
tained the combat on foot, and did great execution. 
Wallace rode through the enemy with Moreland's 
spear, with which he killed three before it was 
broken, and then, resuming his sword, he dealt 
death with it on all sides. Every stroke despatched 
a foe ; till at length the English, dismayed at their 
losses, and finding that they were unable to dis- 
lodge the Scots from their position, resolved on 
withdrawing ; being amazed at the power of Wal- 
lace, who had felled one of the stoutest English 
captains at a stroke, and had mowed down their 
troopers as a mower cuts grass. 

The English had not all been able to make their 
way through the wood together. Graystock, the 
second in command, who came up with a second 
party as the first were retiring, upbraided his 
countrymen for giving way to so small a number, 
and vowed that he would avenge those who had 
fallen. But Wallace's men had now had time to 
mount the fresher horses of their adversaries, and 
to take a short rest ; and, as he had lost none, and 
only five were wounded, Wallace saw the enemy 
coming behind him without much apprehension, 


trusting to resist even if they overtook him with 
their whole force at once. The English, however, 
from the route which the Scots pursued, were un- 
able to advance upon them in a body, and, from 
what some of them had previously experienced, 
were unwilling to assail them in small parties. 
Wallace himself rode somewhat in the rear, and 
was easily known by the English from being 
mounted on Moreland's horse. One of them, who 
had been in the former encounter, rode up to Gray- 
stock, and said, 

"That is the man that slew so many of our 
troop. If his horse does not fail him, he will 
think nothing of riding through a thousand of us. 
It will be better for you to desist from going after 
him, for you may possibly repent if you come in 
contact with him. ,, 

Graystock was deaf to all remonstrances, and 
reaching a place that he thought would be favour- 
able for an attack, he resolved on trying his 
strength with the foe. But Wallace was careful 
not to hazard a pitched battle, or to expose his 
men to open peril. 

It had chanced, however, that Sir John Gra- 
hame had ridden over the preceding night, with 
thirty' retainers, to Torheid, and had met, on 


his way, with Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Torthorald, 
a relation of Wallace by the mother's side, who, 
from disagreements with the English, had been for 
the last six months in Eskdale Wood at the head 
of a few insurrectionary followers. Sir John, 
having heard at Torheid whither Wallace had 
gone, rode off in search of him, and was joined by 
Kirkpatrick with twenty of his men. They came 
up with Wallace at the very time when Graystock 
was meditating an assault, and greetings were 
scarcely exchanged when the three charged at once 
into the centre of the enemy, and threw them into 
such complete disorder that resistance to the Scots 
was no longer possible. Some fell by the sword ; 
some were trampled down in the confusion ; and 
the rest fled. Graystock mounted a fresh horse, 
and, with a few of his men who still held together, 
endeavoured to reach a place of safety. 

Wallace, seeing Sir John engaged in cutting 
down the fugitives, said to him, "■ It is but folly, 
my friend, to waste time in killing the common 
men while the leaders are escaping. Your horse 
is fresh, as well as your followers ; pursue and dis- 
perse yon large body, among whom doubtless you 
will find the chief." 

Sir John at first thought Wallace somewhat 


peremptory, but afterwards executed his directions 
with alacrity. Kirkpatrick followed in his track ; 
the fleeing enemy were soon overtaken ; Graystock 
was killed by Sir John ; and the whole of the 
English were put to the rout. Those who escaped 
sought refuge at the Knockwood, the place which 
the Scots had lately quitted. 

This battle was fought near Queensbury. When 
it was over, Wallace asked pardon of Sir John for 
the warmth with which he had addressed him in 
the excitement of the contest. " I should not have 
urged to action," said he, " one who was so willing 
to act himself.'" 

" Say no more of it," replied Sir John ; " you 
had nothing in view but our advantage, and you 
could see better than I what was best to be done. 
I am quite willing to take instructions from you ; 
and you shall be my father in arms." 

Kirkpatrick also thanked Wallace for the excel- 
lent directions which he had given, and the several 
parties, congratulating each other, began to think 
of seeking quarters for the night. 




Wallace, being consulted as to the mode in which 
they should act, advised that they should proceed 
without delay to surprise the castle of Lochmaben, 
representing that, as the garrison had been drawn 
out to meet them in the field, and had suffered so 
much in the recent encounters, they might, if they 
could reach the fortress in advance of the fugitives, 
get possession of it before any means could be 
adopted for its defence. 

To this proposal they at once assented ; and 
Thomas Halliday, who was best acquainted with 
the country, was chosen to be their guide. Calling 
one of his followers, John Watson, who, having 
been pressed into the service of the English, had 
been for some time a sojourner in the castle, he 
hastened forward, and the two rode smartly up to 
the gate together. Watson knocked, and the 


porter, who knew him, asked him, through a 
wicket, what tidings he brought, or what was his 

" Open the gate," said Watson, " for the Cap- 
tain is on the road." The porter imprudently 
complied, when Halliday, rushing forward, seized 
him by the neck, and threw him into the ditch. 
Watson possessed himself of the keys, and gave 
free access to Wallace and the rest, who now came 
up, and found nobody in the castle but women and 

The place was well stored with provisions, 
among which was abundance of ale and wine ; and 
they enjoyed a sumptuous repast after the fatigues 
of the day. By degrees, stragglers from their dis- 
comfited enemies began to appear before the castle ; 
all were admitted by Watson, who acted as porter, 
as they came up ; and being confined in the castle 
yard, were, when the Scots had ended their meal, 
indiscriminately put to the sword. 

This fortress was deemed so important an acqui- 
sition, that Wallace thought it advisable to leave a 
garrison in it ; and a relative of Halliday 's, named 
Johnston, who lived in the neighbourhood, was 
appointed commander, with injunctions to defend 
it against all assailants. 




As soon as things were arranged at Lochma- 
ben, Wallace and Sir John Grahame, attended by 
forty men, rode off to Torheid, from whence, after 
a short stay, they proceeded to Crawford Muir. 
Halliday, in the meantime, went home, none of the 
English being aware that he had been engaged in 
the recent encounters. Kirkpatrick betook himself 
to Eskdale wood, where he hoped to find security 
as before. 

As Wallace and Sir John reached the edge of 
Crawford Muir, and were directing their course 
towards the Clyde, Wallace observed to his com- 
panion, " I wish that we could make an attempt on 
Crawford Castle with any hope of success. What • 
think you, Sir John! Is anything of the kind 
practicable V 

u If the garrison, or a large number of them, be 
away on any account," observed Sir John, "we 
might possibly surprise the place. Martindale, a 


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.: the Scot.* coald take it oat of 


Wallace went back to Sir John, and when he 
had told him how matters stood, the two proceeded 
with their followers towards the tavern. Wallace 
went in among the company, and said, " Good day 
to you." 

" You wish us good day,*" replied one of them, 
" but you look too grim for a merry party. You 
must be a Scot. The devil take the whole nation !" 

" Nay, he shall take some of you first," exclaimed 
Wallace, and drawing his two-handed sword, began 
at once to make havoc among them, and so well 
was he seconded by Little and the others, that 
fifteen were tilled within the house, and five out- 
side. Sir John rode on to the castle, and setting 
fire to the gate, easily effected an entrance, there 
being indeed few in the place besides women and 
children. They found little provision, but never- 
theless remained there for the night, bringing what 
they needed from the inn. 

Next day they carried off whatever spoil was 
worth removing, . set fire to the wood-work, and 
pulled down as much of the walls as they could ; 
and having thus rendered it useless as a fortress 
for the present, they rode away, with much re- 
joicing, to Dundaff. 




Wallace resided at Dundaff, with his friend Sir 
John Grahame, till February in the following 
year, 1297, when he quitted that place for Gilbank, 
from whence he made frequent visits to Marian 
Braidfoot, at Lanark. 

He was as much pleased as before with the 
society of his betrothed, and was still more divided 
in his thoughts as to what course of life he should 
adopt. Sometimes he meditated relinquishing war- 
like pursuits altogether, and settling himself in 
quiet with the lady of his choice. Sometimes he 
would feel inclined to flee from her presence, and 
make the battle-field his home. Sometimes he felt 
indisposed to further attempts in arms, from the 
slight effects of those which he had already made ; 
sometimes he reflected how cowardly it would be 


thought in him by his friends to abandon the cause 
to which he had expressed such resolution to devote 
himself. But at last he determined on satisfying 
both his inclinations; he resolved to marry, and 
reside with his wife for a time, and then to resume 
his warlike pursuits. He and Marian were privately 
united, and John Blair, his old friend, performed 
the ceremony. 

He enjoyed great happiness in the society of his 
wife, and continued with her till a daughter was born 
to them. But he could not live at ease, as long as 
foreigners were tyrannising oyer his country. He 
grew impatient of inactivity, and was becoming 
uncontrollably eager to return to the strife, when 
affairs occurred that drew him forth in all his 
former spirit and energy. 

He was obliged to live in great retirement with 
his wife, for fear of Hazelrigg and the English. 
But their union could not be perpetually concealed. 
Hazlerigg found that the heiress of Lamington was 
not to be obtained for his son ; and those whom he 
employed as spies, easily learned that she was mar- 
ried to another. For some time after this discovery, 
however, Hazelrigg made ilo open demonstrations 
of seeking vengeance ; and Wallace, as he grew 
more disposed to return to action, and had been for 


some time unmolested, became less solicitous to 
keep himself from Hazelrigg's notice. Sir John 
Grahame had one day ridden over to Gilbank, as he 
often did, to pay Wallace a visit. He happened, 
on this occasion, to be attended by fifteen followers. 
Wallace and he resolved on going to Lanark to- 
gether to hear mass. Wallace took with him nine 
men ; and the whole company, as was then much 
the fashion, was dressed in green, Wallace having 
his armour and sword, for fear of any mischance, 
concealed under his green mantle. Young Hazelrigg 
having noticed their appearance, and having been 
told that the most distinguished-looking of them 
was he that had married Marian Braidfoot, insti- 
gated Sir Robert Thorn, a crafty knight attached 
to him, to insult Wallace on his return from the 
church. Sir Robert delegated the execution of this 
commission to one of Hazelrigg's men, a fellow that 
was counted the strongest and boldest of all his 
force. This person, walking up to Wallace as he 
was coming from church, said to him, " Good day, 

" Whom do you call monsieur ?" asked Wallace ; 
" do you mean to be impertinent ?" 

"Why," replied the other, "are you not a 
foreigner, just come from outlandish parts 2" 


" No," answered Wallace. 

44 1 crave pardon, then," rejoined the fellow ; " I 
took you, from your dress, for an ambassador newly 
arrived.' ' 

44 Such pardon as I care to give," said Wallace, 
44 you shall have ; and that you may know me to 
be a Scot, I will give you the Gaelic salutation, 
4 Good morning, if you please, lazy laird, and God 
bless you P " 

Wallace was unwilling to raise a disturbance, 
but at last one of Hazelrigg's men made a snatch 
at Wallace^ sword, when, after some further objur- 
gations on either side, the Scots saw, from the mali- 
cious looks and increasing numbers of the English, 
that it would be impossible longer to refrain from 
violence. Sir Robert Thorn, also, and yoting Ha- 
zelrigg were seen approaching to encourage the 
party. Wallace therefore drew his sword, and his 
companions followed his example. A fierce combat 
ensued, in which Wallace distributed his blows with 
fearful and destructive energy. Having despatched 
two of his adversaries, he struck off the right hand of 
a third, when the blood spouted from the arm into 
his face in such a copious stream, as almost blinded 
him, and his enemies thought that they had 
him at their mercy, but Sir John Grahame kept 


them effectually at bay until Wallace recovered his 
sight. The Scots must have been at length, how- 
ever, overpowered by increasing numbers, had they 
not been near Wallace's wife's house, who, happen- 
ing to be there, and seeing the affray, gave orders 
to open the gate, to which Wallace and his party 
effected a retreat, keeping their faces towards the 
enemy, and fighting without remission, and which 
was closed as soon as they were all within it. 
Passing through the house, they were enabled to 
baffle their assailants entirely, and took their way 
to Oartlane Oraigs, where they found such strong- 
holds as rendered them secure from molestation. 

Hazelrigg the elder, at the time of this affray, 
was not in Lanark, but on hearing of it, and of the 
slaughter among his men, he ordered Wallace's 
wife to be brought before him for having assisted 
Wallace to escape ; and, as she could not deny the 
charge, he sentenced her to be instantly executed. 

Wallace's wife put to death. 153 

Wallace's grief, his revenge. 

Wallace remained ignorant of the fate of hi$ 
wife until intelligence of it was brought him by a 
woman of her household. His grief was excessive ; 
and that of Sir John Grahame, who sympa- 
thized with his friend, was little less. All his 
followers, indeed, felt overwhelmed with sorrow at 
his calamity. But in Wallace's breast resentment 
and longing for revenge soon took the place of 
grief. He became better able to comfort their 
than they to comfort him. 

" To lament/' said he, " is useless. The past 
is without remedy. The dead cannot be restored 
to life. We must think of the future, and resolve 
on action. I will take no rest till this deed be 
avenged, or till I die in the attempt to avenge it. 
To the English, who are everywhere alike, not 
rulers, but tyrants over my country, I am hence- 



forth a determined enemy. There shall be no 
more hesitation on my part whether to act against 
them or not. In punishing this outrage, and in 
daring whatever consequences may result from its 
punishment, I undertake, while I vindicate my 
own wrongs, the cause of a whole nation. 

" The first attempt that we make, must be 
against Hazelrigg, the author of this unmanly 
injustice to a woman ." 

All his companions declared themselves ready 
to follow whithersoever he might lead them. Au- 
chinleck, too, who, having heard of Wallace's loss, 
had set out to condole with him, joined him at this 
time with ten of his followers, who were a welcome 

A council of war being held, it was resolved to 
proceed against the Hazelriggs without delay. As 
they approached the town, the Scots separated into 
three bodies, and entered the place by different 
ways. Sir John Grahame made for the dwell- 
ing of Sir Robert Thorn ; Wallace for that of 
Hazelrigg, who, in the dead of night, was startled 
by the door of his house being burst in with a 
noise like that of thunder. 

"What din is this?" said he, and proceeded to 
call up his household ; but the Scots had spread 


themselves through the building, and his voice was 
stopped by the iron grasp of Wallace about his 
throat, crying, " You shall now make full atone- 
ment for your cowardly murder of my wife. Blood 
for blood is but fair exaction. 1 ' Wallace then 
dragged him forth into the street, and cut off his 
head before the people of the town, whom the alarm 
had roused from their sleep. Young Hazelrigg, 
who was in the same house, met with a like fate. 

Sir Robert Thorn was slain, and his house burnt 
to the ground, by Sir John Grahame. Auchin- 
leck exerted himself with vigour and effect in other 

The garrison was at length roused, and got 
under arms, and endeavoured to repel Wallace and 
his party ; but the population of the town were so 
disgusted at Hazelrigg's barbarity, and at all that 
had been concerned with him in it, that they rose 
in one mass against the soldiery, who, unable to 
resist the general hostility, were driven from the 
town, after some ineffectual struggles, with great 
slaughter. Two hundred and fifty of their number 
were left dead in the streets. 


ttoofc IV. 



It was not till this rising at Lanark that Wal- 
lace's name ean be said to have become known to 
his country. How able he was as a combatant, 
and how much he was likely to accomplish, if for- 
tune favoured him, in the cause of Scotland, was 
clearly seen by his private friends, but waft; as yet 
concealed from the Caledonian world at large. He 
had conducted several enterprises, and had engaged, 
with uniform and resistless success, in various kinds 
of encounters, but the reputation which he had 
gained in these undertakings was local and con- 
lined, and had rather been obscured than celebrated 
by his associates, through the caution and secrecy 
which dread of their enemies had rendered it neces- 
sary for them to observe. 

But his course of proceeding was now to undergo 
a change. When it was spread abroad that he had 
sufficient strength to take possession of a country 


town, and that the inhabitants of the place and the 
neighbourhood had risen in his support, numbers, 
from all parts of the land, showed themselves ready 
to join his standard, and to own him as a leader ; 
and he felt himself at liberty to publish his desire 
and intention to deliver his country, if possible, 
from the yoke under which she laboured. 

Richard Wallace of Riccartoun, and Robert 
Boyd, came immediately to join him with such 
force as they could collect from Kyle and Cun- 
ningham, among which there were not less than 
a thousand horsemen. Sir John Grahame, Sir 
John of Tinto, and Auchinleck, assembled about 
three thousand mounted troops, and a large con- 
course on foot, of whom many, however, were in- 
sufficiently armed. Sir Ronald Crawford would 
gladly have been with him, but was prevented from 
supporting him openly by the bond which he had 
given to Percy; yet he sent him reinforcements 
secretly, and endeavoured to promote his success 
by every means in his power 

There was then at the Court of Edward, in the 
capacity of pursuivant, a Scotsman named Walter 
Grimsby, a native of Kyle, who had long been 
desirous to detach himself from the English, and 
who, on hearing of Wallace's proceedings, fled 
secretly into Scotland, and offered his services to 


the Scottish chief. He was strong, and tall of 
stature, and of a grim and stern aspect. He was 
well acquainted with the English coast, and had 
travelled in France, Normandy, and Flanders. 
He gave Wallace a full account of the state of 
things in England, and of Edward's disposition 
towards Scotland. He was well received by all 
Wallace's party, and was made their standard- 

The lordship of Bothwell, in Lanarkshire, was 
at this time held by Sir Aymer de Vallence, one 
of Edward's chiefs, while Earl Murray, the right- 
ful owner, had been obliged to flee, and had taken 
refuge in Arran. De Vallence, as soon as he heard 
of Wallace's movements, and his purpose to re- 
assert the independence of Scotland, sent off a 
despatch to the King with an account of the whole 
proceedings. Edward was startled at the news, 
and immediately commenced preparations for an- 
other invasion of Scotland, vowing vengeance 
against all who were in arms, and whom he 
resolved to treat with the severity merited by 
rebels. His queen endeavoured to soften him, 
saying that the Scots were Christians, and deserv- 
ing of honourable treatment, as they sought only to 
gain what they justly considered as their rights ; 
but her remonstrances were of no avail. 




Whilst Wallace and his force were encamped in 
the vicinity of Lanark, an army of the English, 
consisting partly of detachments from the neigh- 
bouring garrisons, and partly of troops despatched 
from England, began to assemble to the eastward 
of him, and took up a position near Biggar. This 
host was excellently equipped, and was under the 
command of the Earl of Kent. 

Before coming to hostilities, the Earl sent two 
heralds to Wallace with a written proclamation, 
stating that, if Wallace would submit uncondi- 
tionally to King Edward, the King, taking into 
consideration that he was by birth a gentleman, 
and a valiant man at arms, would pardon the mis- 
chief which he had previously done to the English, 
and would not only spare his life, but give him a 
post among the English in which he might main- 


tain himself with honour ; but that, if he refused 
this offer from his majesty, he should be treated, 
if taken, as a rebel, and hanged on a gibbet. A 
young squire, a relative of the English queen, 
accompanied the heralds in disguise, from a desire 
to obtain a sight of Wallace, and to learn the state 
of things in the Scottish camp. 

Wallace, when he was informed of the arrival of 
the heralds, called around him some of his Mends, 
and, in their presence, caused the proclamation to 
be read. He then, with their approbation, indited 
an answer to the effect that " King Edward, in 
regard to Scotland, was but a robber, and had no 
rightful power at all over the kingdom ; that he 
would make no submission to him, or accept any 
favour at his hands, but would do his utmost to 
destroy his forces or expel them from the country ; 
and that he would be ready for battle before nine 
on the following morning." The squire who at- 
tended the heralds, being recognised by Grimsby, 
and considered as a spy, was seized and put to 
death. The heralds were then suffered to depart, 
but not without being severely blamed for having 
allowed a spy to accompany them. 

The Scottish leader then formed the design of 
visiting the English army in disguise, and set out, 


on this enterprise, without the knowledge of any 
of his colleagues except Sir John Tinto. On the 
road to Biggar, he met a man driving a horse with 
panniers fall of earthenware for sale, of whom he 
purchased his whole stock of goods, and his outer 
garment, and proceeded, in the guise of an earthen- 
ware seller, at the side of the horse, into the 
English encampment. He was an object of sport 
to the soldiers, who made jests upon him, broke 
his jugs, and annoyed him in various ways. But 
he bore their insults with patience, and, having 
ascertained all that he wished to know, took his 
way back, in quiet and safety, to his own army. 

When he arrived, he found that his absence had 
occasioned much concern and apprehension among 
his followers, who were afraid that he must have 
been betrayed to the enemy, or put secretly to 
death ; and, as Sir John Tinto was the last person 
with whom he had been seen in company, suspicion 
had fallen so strongly upon him, that Sir John 
Orahame had caused him to be bound and kept 
under guard ; and the common soldiers were cla- 
morous that he should be hanged. Wallace's 
appearance speedily loosed his bonds ; and the 
business on which he had gone, and which Sir 
John Tinto had refused to disclose, was imme- 


diately made known. Sir John Grahame was 
somewhat displeased, and said that it was not 
chieftain-like to expose himself so inconsiderately ; 
but Wallace replied, with great good humour, that 
he who would have, must venture ; and that they 
must all encounter greater perils than he had en- 
countered before they could free Scotland. 

They then took rest till daybreak; when the 
whole army set forward, divided into three parts, 
of which Wallace himself, with Boyd and Au- 
chinleck, commanded one ; Sir John Grahame, 
with Wallace of Riccartoun and Somerville, the 
second ; and Sir Walter of Newbigging, with his 
son David and Sir John Tinto, the third. In the 
front were ranged whatever cavalry they had, and 
behind them came the footmen, as being but im- 
perfectly armed, and unfit to withstand the first 
charge. Before they proceeded to action, Wallace 
called the commanders around him, and charged 
them to restrain their men from plunder until the 
contest was decided, " for," said he, " propensity 
to pillage has lost many a battle.'" 

As he finished his injunctions, they observed a 
body of men marching towards 'them from the 
south, equipped with armour and weapons that 
flashed brilliantly in the morning sun. From the 


mode in which they approached, Wallace had little 
doubt that they were friends, aud was soon in- 
formed that they were a force led by Halliday and 
his sons, who had raised a number of followers in 
Annandale, and by Eirkpatrick and Jardine, who 
had gathered a large company in EskdaJe. The 
yvhole amounted to not less than three hundred 
men, and were received by Wallace and the other 
chiefs with the greatest delight. 

u A hearty welcome to you, gentlemen," said 
Wallace, "and may we succeed in putting these 
false intruders out of our heritage." 

" We will do our best for that purpose," rejoined 
they ; " you have but to lead, and we will folio w." 

The whole Scottish force now moved rapidly 
forward on the English, who, by the swiftness of 
the enemy ''s advance, were taken somewhat by sur- 
prise. The onset of the Scots was terrific; and 
the battle rose with terrible fury round the post 
of the Earl of Kent. Sir John Grahame, New- 
bigging, and the whole of the Scottish leaders, 
were soon engaged hand to hand with the enemy. 
The English resisted manfully, but were borne 
down by the Scots with great slaughter. At 
length the Earl of Kent, after fighting long and 
valiantly, was struck down by the sword of Wal- 


lace, and his men had great difficulty in bearing 
him off alive. The English standard reeled and 
fell, and the whole English army was thrown into 
disorder and took to flight. Some hundreds of 
them were killed in the action, and many more in 
•the pursuit which followed. 

The Scots feasted sumptuously on the field of 
battle. In the camp of the English was found 
abundance of provisions, money, jewellery, and 
other valuable booty, which was to Wallace and 
his followers a very acceptable supply- 




Wallace had been cautious of allowing the 
pursuit to be continued too far, lest the English 
should rally and renew the contest. He purposed 
to retire to some place of strength, and, having 
caused the spoil to be removed to Bopis Bog, 
made his first movement, with his main body, 
to Davis Shaw. 

In the meantime, the English, finding that the 
pursuit had ceased, had assembled at John's 
Green, where the Earl of Longcastle, who had 
succeeded to the chief command, endeavoured to 
restore order among them. While he was thus 
engaged, two of the English camp-followers, who, 
to save themselves from being cut to pieces, had 
cowered down among the slain, effected their 
escape to their own army, and told the Earl 
that the Scots, having eaten and drank heartily, 


and being overcome with fatigue, had sunk into 
drowsiness and inactivity, and might easily be 
surprised and cut off. This account the Earl 
was unwilling to believe, observing that the 
Scottish leader had too much skill and caution 
to allow himself to be so exposed. Next morning, 
however, he was persuaded by the Earl of West- 
morland, and a knight of Picardy, who had been 
at Calais with King Edward, to make a movement 
in advance towards Wallace's position. With 
these leaders were united Sir Aymer de Vallence, 
the Earls of Roxburgh and Berwick, and Sir 
Ralph Grey. At the field of battle they were 
surprised to find nothing but the bodies of the 
dead, and began to proceed with greater confidence, 
trusting that the Scots had retreated to avoid 
another encounter. But they were speedily un- 
deceived; for Wallace, observing their approach, 
advanced a short distance to meet them, and then 
retreated, as if afraid of their superior strength ; 
manoeuvring so as to lure them to a point where, 
in order to come to battle with the Scots, they 
would have to cross a portion of Ropis Bog. 
As the surface of the bog was covered in a great 
measure with moss and long grass, they thought 
they might venture to march their cavalry across 
it, but they entered only to sink up to the girths 


in mire, so that the front ranks were thrown into 
ntter disorder, when the Scots* some of them 
hastening round the edge of the morass, and 
others, who had left their horses iu the wood* 
crossing the firmer parts of it on foot, rushed 
upon them with impetuous assaults on different 
quarters. Horse and rider, struggling in the soft 
soil, or encumbered and rendered helpless in the 
crowd, were soon smitten down by their fierce 
assailants. The knight of Picardv, however, found 
an opportunity of coming to a struggle with Sir 
John Grahame, and, being a skilful swords- 
man, gave him some trouble; but Sir John'n 
strength was at last victorious over his adversary's 
art. The English showed symptoms of an in- 
clination to retreat. Wallace would fain havo 
attacked Sir Aymer de V alienee, but the Karl of 
Westmorland came between them, and wan killed 
by the stroke which Wallaco had intended tor 
the other. Robert Boyd, at tho same time, alow 
a valiant captain from Uorwick, Tho English 
then gave way at all points, and thin Nooond en- 
counter was at an end. 

The Earl of Longcastlo, with tho remaiim of 
his force, retreated without delay towards tho 
South, and after halting awhile at Uirkhill, croNNod 
the Solway into England. 




Wallace, after burying the dead, directed his 
march towards Braidwood, where he held a council 
of his chieftains, at which it was resolved to pro- 
claim a general meeting of all that had attached 
themselves to him, and all that were willing to 
act with him against the English, at Forest Kirk. 

Here he was joined by Sir William Douglas, 
who had been taken prisoner by Edward at Dun- 
bar, and had sworn fealty to him, but was resolved 
no longer to submit to so unjust and tyrannical a 
usurper. As he had never appeared in arms 
against the Scots, he was received with a hearty 

At this meeting it was agreed to acknowledge 
Wallace as general of the Scottish forces against 
England, with the title of Warden of Scotland. 


He then marched southwards, and, as he passed 
along, settled things in that part of t the country 
as he thought best. He appointed Scotchmen 
as sheriffs, and captains of the strongholds, in 
place of the English, who were obliged to flee. 
His power was universally acknowledged. The 
only places that held out against him in Galloway, 
were Wigton and Cree; but the captain of 
Wigton made but a short resistance, and stole off 
to England, leaving everything behind him in 
disorder. Wallace appointed Adam Gordon com- 
mander of the place. The capture of Cree was 
an undertaking of somewhat greater difficulty. 
It was a fortress built on the river of the same 
name, and surrounded on two sides by rocks and 
water. After some ineffectual attempts had been 
made upon it, Wallace came himself to survey 
its position, and immediately conceived a plan 
by which it might be taken. He waited till night, 
and then placed a body of men on the land side 
of the fort, at such a distance from it as to be 
unseen by its occupants, while he went to the 
edge of the water with Ker and Stephen of Ireland, 
who, being excellent swimmers, swam along the 
river to the foot of the rock, up which they 
climbed and made their way, while the inmates 



were asleep, to the gate. Here the porter was 
soon despatched, and the drawbridge lowered, 
when Wallace, sounding his horn, called forward 
the body of men that he had stationed in readi- 
ness ; at the head of whom he entered the place, 
and put to death all the English that were found 
in it, except a priest and some women. Much 
booty was discovered, and, as soon as it was 
removed, Wallace dismantled the building and 
set fire to it. 

The stronghold of Turnberry, of which the com- 
mander had gone to Ayr to consult with Percy, 
was treated in a similar manner. He then pro- 
ceeded to Cumnock in Ayrshire, and from thence 
to Lanark, where he held a court of justice for the 
punishment of such as had been guilty of offences 
in his absence. He also established his brother's 
son in possession of his estates. 

From Lanark he went again to Cumnock, and 
fixed his quarters, with a strong garrison, at the 
Black Crag, a castle that had formerly belonged 
to the Earls of Dunbar, where he continued to 
reside for the next three months. 




.Wallace was now master of Galloway and all 
the southern part of the country. The English 
in Scotland, being conscious that they were not 
strong enough to put him down, and fearing that 
if he proceeded in his career and made constant 
additions to his strength, he might cut them off 
from all communication with their country, began 
to think that the most prudent measure which 
they could adopt, would be to make a truce with 
him; a measure to which they were the rather 
impelled, by the knowledge that Edward, from 
the state of his affairs on the continent, was unable 
at that time to afford them any support. 

Earl Percy, at this period, still held Ayr; 
Anthony Beck, bishop of Durham, ruled over 
Glasgow ; and the Earl of Bothwell had consider- 
able influence in Lanarkshire. These three, iu 



concert with Sir Aymer de Vallence and the 
Earl of Stamford, the English Chancellor, made 
advances to Wallace, who thought proper, for the 
time, to listen to them ; and a meeting was 
arranged to take place in the Church of Ruther- 
glen. Wallace came to it attended with fifty- 
Scottish archers, well armed, not only with bows 
and arrows, but with swords and shields, and clad 
in bright green. He himself wore the dress in 
which he usually appeared on the field of battle ; 
a coat of chain mail, over which was a surcoat, 
girded round the waist by a belt, a steel helmet, 
a collar of the same metal, cases of leather over 
his legs and thighs, well strengthened with metal 
plates, and gauntlets of similar construction. 
From his belt hung his heavy two-handed sword, 
with a stout-hilted dagger of the finest steel for 
closer combat. 

Before proceeding to business, he caused a mass 
to be celebrated in the church, at which he and all 
his men attended. When the English arrived, 
tliry wi iv struck with his noble appearance, and 
thr Chancellor, wishing to conciliate him, offered 
him hi* hand. Wallace drew back with stately 
courtesy, und said that he could not take by the 
\ apparent friendship any one whom he 


must regard as the enemy of his country, and to 
whom he could not but entertain hostile feelings 
in his heart. u Let us proceed at once," said he, 
"without further ceremony, to business. You 
will please to state, my lord Chancellor, what is 
the object of our meeting ?" 

" I am sent by our king," said the Chancellor, 
" with the consent of the Parliament and barons, 
to settle a peace.'" 

u It would be but mean in us," rejoined Wal- 
lace, " to make peace with you while you occupy 
that which is ours. Quit claim of our land, to 
which your king has no right, and peace may 
be made without difficulty." 

" No," said the Chancellor ; "I am not come 
to relinquish our King's rights. If there be any- 
thing else which you demand, I might consider 
whether it may be granted ; but our sovereign will 
assuredly retain that to which he has so fully, by 
argument and arms, asserted his claim." 

" Upon this point, 1 ' returned Wallace, " we 
shall but dispute in vain. You wish for peace ; 
I will, with the consent of my own friends, and 
because I think it may be for the good of my 
country, make, not a settled peace, but a truce 
for a year. To say the truth, however, I have 


no faith in your king, and do not expect that he 
will keep any agreement that you may make 
longer than he may think suitable to his interest." 

To this the Chancellor made no reply, and a 
bond was drawn out to the effect that there should 
be a cessation of hostilities between the English 
and the Scots for twelve months from that day, 
each retaining, during that time, the fortresses 
and territories which they then held. This bond 
was signed and sealed in the month of February, 

Wallace left his copy of it in the hands of his 
uncle, Sir Ronald Crawford, and retired to his 
castle at Cumnock, having, as he expressed himself 
to the Chancellor, little confidence in the good 
faith of the enemy. 





It was not without reason that Wallace had 
entertained a suspicion that the truce would be 
broken. In the month of April, King Edward, 
who was then at Pontefract, went to Carlisle, 
to the great surprise of the Scots, to hold a 
council, and invited thither a great number of 
English chiefs, but no Scotchman except Sir 
Aymer de Vallence, one whom every Scot re- 
garded as a double dealer, true to nothing but his 
own interest. This person, at once false and cruel, 
was consulted, among others, as to the course of 
proceedings which would be most likely to weaken 
the power of the Scots. 

u My advice,*" said he, u would be to cut oft' 
their leaders. He who now takes precedence 
among them is both wise and valiant; and this 
truce, I think, has been but inconsiderately 


granted, for it gives the whole nation time to 
collect and increase its strength, as well as the 
commanders time to arrange and mature their 
plans, so that the entire country, after the cessa- 
tion from hostilities is ended, will be better pre 
pared and more eager for insurrection, than before 
it began. But it has struck me that the head of 
the rebellion may be crushed, and the fire of the 
people repressed by the method which I am going 
to propose. There are spacious barracks at Ayr, 
which were built for his majesty's convenience 
when he was sojourning in that city, and in which 
there is one large apartment, with doors of such 
a nature that only one person can enter at a time, 
and can know nothing of what is passing within 
until he has entered. In these barracks it would 
be easy to call a meeting of the Scottish barons, 
and to make them prisoners in this apartment, one 
by one, as they should come in. This is a bold 
measure, and will doubtless be called severe, but it 
is the only efficient plan that I can conceive for 
the present emergency ; and to desperate diseases 
must be applied desperate remedies." 

Concerning this proposal Earl Percy was asked 
his opinion. 

" The Scots have kept faith with me so long," 


observed he, "that I am unwilling to see any 
deceitful course adopted towards them. But I 
must not take their part against my own country- 
men, and, if the proceeding which has been sug- 
gested be sanctioned by the council, I shall give 
them no clandestine knowledge of it, but suffer 
it to take its course. The responsibility will be 
on the heads of the majority, not on mine, who 
am but one. If the project is to be carried into 
effect, I will withdraw at the time, to the eastern 
part of the country, where I have to hold a con- 
ference with Sir Robert de Clifford. ,, 

The decision of the council was, to adopt De 
Vallence , s proposal ; and a person named Arnulf, 
of Southampton, a man of great strength, and of 
less nicety of feeling than Percy, was appointed 
to be Governor of Ayr in Percy's absence. 

Notice was accordingly given of a Court to be 
held at Ayr, on the eighteenth day of the following 
June, at which the Scottish leaders of that district 
were all desired to attend ; and Arnulf undertook 
to have them all pinioned and imprisoned as they 
arrived. But more cruel measures were intended 
than were signified to King Edward, who, when 
the council was at an end, took his departure for 
the south. 



The real object of this Court was of course kept 
secret with the utmost care, and the Scots won- 
dered that a Court should be called at all, with so 
authoritative a summons, during the treaty. Sir 
Ronald Crawford, the hereditary Sheriff of Ayr- 
shire, called a meeting of his friends, at Monkton 
Church, to ask their opinions about the purpose of 
the Court, and how they should conduct them- 
selves in reference to it. Wallace, in his character 
of Warden, attended the meeting, and was ad- 
monished by Prior John, the priest of Monkton, 
to stay away from the Court, and to keep his 
friends from it, as the departure of Percy foreboded 
no good to the Scots. 

Wallace went into the church to hear mass, 
where, after the service was over, he fell asleep, and 
had a remarkable dream. He thought that he saw 
an aged and venerable man come towards him, who 
took him by the hand, and, saying, " I have the 
charge of thee, my son," presented him with a 
heavy sword, which glittered like glass, and on the 
hilt of which was a large topaz, adding, " We 
tarry here too long ; thou must go where much 
wrong is done." He then transported him to the 
top of a high mountain, from which he appeared to 
command a view of the whole world. The old 

Wallace's vision. 179 

man then left him, and Wallace, looking around, 
saw a fire arise, which spread itself over the whole 
of Scotland. As he watched its progress, a fair 
woman, of queenly presence, seemed to descend 
from a cloud* and held out to him a wand of red 
and green, and touched his face and eyes with a 
sapphire stone. Around her shone such a flood of 
light as made the fire seem dim ; and she said to 
him, " You are dear to me, for you are raised by 
Heaven to help those that are wronged ; you will 
support and deliver your country ; be, therefore, of 
good courage, though your reward on earth may 
be but small." When she had uttered these 
words, she handed him a book, and vanished into 
the cloud from which she had descended. Wal- 
lace, on opening the book, found it to be written in 
letters of brass, and gold, and silver. He at- 
tempted to read it, but was unable, and in his 
concern at the disappointment he awoke. 

Leaving the church, he went to seek Prior John, 
and told him the vision, asking him whether he 
thought that it was intended to convey instruction, 
or how he considered that it might be understood. 
" My son," said he, " I venture on the interpre- 
tation of such a dream with fear. But, as far as T 
may presume to judge, I should conceive that he 


who gave thee the sword may have been Saint 
Andrew, the guardian of Scotland; that thou wast 
set on a mountain, to denote that thou shalt see 
clearly what thou oughtest to do ; that the great 
fire signified the troubles of thy country ; that the 
bright queen was the Virgin Mary ; that the wand 
showed superiority in war, intended by the red 
colour, and in council, betokened by the green ; 
that the sapphire stone was divine assistance ; 
that the book is the career which is before thee, 
the brass letters indicating trouble, the golden 
honour, and the silver a bright termination ; but 
thy inability to understand it intimates the diffi- 
culties with which thou wilt be met. This is what 
I should conjecture that thou mayest understand 
from the vision, but I speak as one in doubt and 
un certain ty." 

Wallace expressed his sense of the Prior's kind- 
ness, and withdrew. 

PERIL. 181 



He remained with his uncle that night at 
Corsbie, from whence they set out the next morn- 
ing for Ayr. They had ridden some distance, 
when Wallace bethought him of the bond of peace, 
and asked his uncle whether he had brought it 
with him. Sir Ronald replied that he had left it 
in a chest with some other documents ; and Wal- 
lace, thinking it prudent to have it with him, pro- 
posed, as no one but themselves knew where to 
find it, to ride back for it. Sir Ronald assenting, 
he took with him three of the company, and set 
off at full speed for Corsbie, while Sir Ronald, 
unapprehensive of evil, pursued his way to the 

On reaching it, he went at once to the barracks, 
and entered without hesitation ; but he had no 
sooner passed the door than a cord, with a running 


noose, was slipped over his head, and he was 
drawn up to a beam to hang till he died. Sir Bryce 
Blair entered next, and was treated in the same 
manner ; then followed Wallace's uncle, and then 
Sir Neil Montgomery ; then several others, of the 
families of Campbell, Boyd, Barclay, and Stuart, 
all of whom became victims to the same fatal pro- 
cess, falling by a barbarous massacre in a barbar- 
ous age. 

Robert Boyd, in the mean time, who had charge 
of twenty of Wallace's men, went with them to a 
tavern. Ker, Kneland, and Byrd, had attended 
Wallace back to Corsbie. Stephen of Ireland, 
who had command of another party, going in the 
same direction with Boyd, was accosted on the 
way by a woman that had, by some means, obtained 
a knowledge of what had been done in the barracks. 
" Flee !" said she. " I wish well to you and 
Scotland ; and would save you from destruction. 
Where is Wallace !" 

u He is gone back to Corsbie," said Stephen, 
" but will soon return/ ' 

" Hasten, then," cried the woman, " and with- 
draw yourselves, with the whole of your men, from 
the town. I will wait here to warn Wallace." 
She then explained to Stephen, in a few words, 


what had happened to Sir Ronald and the rest ; 
and Stephen and Boyd, with all their followers, 
immediately retired to Laglane Wood. 

Wallace soon after arrived, and was hurrying, 
without suspicion, to the barracks, when he was 
stopped by the woman and informed of the death 
of his friends, and of the retreat of Stephen of Ire- 
land and Boyd. He was overwhelmed with grief, 
and equally eager for revenge, but saw that, with 
his small party, he could do nothing against the 
force in the town, and that his men had acted 
wisely in retiring. Learning whither they had 
gone, he turned his horse in the same direction, 
and soon joined them. 




Arnulf, the new Governor of Ayr, fearing that 
some disturbance would arise on account of this 
slaughter, and desiring to attach to himself more 
strongly such as had supported him in the pro- 
ceeding, promised that the lands of the dead barons 
should be divided, as far as was possible, among 
them, and that every gentleman thought deserving 
of a portion should be made a knight. A vast 
number of Englishmen were then in the town, and, 
for the sake of convenience, it was appointed that 
they should lodge in the barracks instead of the 
castle. An abundance of provisions had been col- 
lected for their maintenance ; they were well 
furnished with strong ale, brought from Ireland, 
and wine ; and they indulged in great excess both 
in eating and drinking. 

The woman, who had warned Wallace, took note 


of this state of things, and, going round among 
such of the people of Ayr as she knew to be 
favourable to him, caused them to carry ample 
supplies of food to Laglane, and to engage to 
support Wallace in any attempt to take revenge 
for the deaths of his friends. 

Wallace's force being thus increased, he resolved 
to proceed at once to action. " But, 11 said he to 
his troop, " though I was elected, some time ago, 
to be Warden of the party opposed to the English, 
there are many here who were not witnesses of my 
election, and whom, by birth and warlike qualifi- 
cations, and other personal merits, I am willing to 
consider as well entitled as myself to take the 
command on the present occasion. I would, there- 
fore, propose that five of the best men of our com- 
pany should be selected from the rest, and that 
these five should cast lots among themselves who 
shall be leader/ ' 

All having assented to this proposal, Wallace, 
Boyd, Crawford, Adam Wallace of Riccartoun, 
whose father was now dead, and Auchinleck, were 
set apart from the others ; and, lots being cast, the 
lot. fell three times on Wallace ; who then stood in 
the midst of them, and said, " I vow, by all that is 
sacred, that my uncle's death, and those of my 


other countrymen, shall now be avenged, or I will 
die in the attempt to exact atonement for it. I 
will neither eat nor drink till I engage in the 
enterprise ; and neither sleep nor sloth shall retard 
me in the execution of it. 11 All around heard his 
words with joy, and vowed to follow whithersoever 
he should lead them. 

Wallace then told them what plan of action "he 
thought best, which was, to set fire to the barracks, 
and to all the houses in which Englishmen were 
lodged, on the following night. He desired one of 
the townsmen to go through the streets after it 
grew dark, and to mark with chalk the door of 
every house that contained enemies. He next 
appointed Boyd, with a strong body of men, to 
keep watch at the gates of the castle, and prevent 
any force from issuing from it when the fire should 
cause alarm ; and he ordered another party to dis- 
tribute themselves through the town, and secure 
the doors of the chalked houses on the outside. 
He himself, with the remainder of his company, 
proceeded to the barracks, where, being well sup- 
plied with tow, they set light to them in several 
places, and the sky was soon illumined with a vast 
blaze. Strict orders had been given to his men by 
Wallace, to guard every outlet of the burning 


edifice, and to allow no one to escape. As he saw 
the flames ascend, he said, " This is a pleasing 
sight, and ought to afford us some comfort for 
what we have suffered on account of our friends." 

The scene was frightful ; the flames raged with 
the utmost violence. Many of the English, mad 
with pain, attempted to escape, but were pushed 
back into the fire by the Scots with the points of 
their swords. Others just showed themselves at 
the outside, and then fell back helpless. Others 
were stifled as they lay, and never stirred from 
their beds. 

Among the houses chalked by the townsman 
was a Monastery of the Black Friars, where seven 
score of the English had lodged themselves, much 
against the will of the brethren. Notice having 
been given to the Prior of Wallace's designs on 
the barracks, he set a watch over his inmates at 
midnight, and, arming himself and the other friars, 
proceeded, when he saw the flames arising from 
the barracks, to set upon the sleeping English with 
such vigour and effect that most of them were 
despatched by the sword, while the rest fled naked 
and terrified into the river that ran near, and 
almost all perished in the water. 

The few men who had been left in the castle 


began to issue forth as soon as they knew of the 
fire. Boyd, who was carefully on the watch, 
allowed several to pass, and then forced his way 
into the building and slew the rest. This being 
done, he left twenty men in the castle, and went 
with the rest of his force to aid the operations of 
Wallace ; when, by their united efforts, and those 
of the other leaders, nearly the whole of the Eng- 
lish in the town were destroyed. 

This was savage retaliation ; but both Wallace 
and his friends thought themselves fully justified 
in repaying cruelty with cruelty. 




When his men had rested the remainder of the 
night, Wallace called them together, and said, 
" Since we are in arms, and ready for action, it 
may be well for us to make an excursion to 
Glasgow, where Bishop Beck has called a Court 
similar to that which was summoned here, and 
where we have too much reason to dread that 
others of our friends may have suffered. With 
the force which we muster we may dislodge Bishop 
Beck and his garrison, and take Glasgow, like Ayr, 
under our own command." 

He then sent for the principal burgesses, and 
charged them to keep the castle well guarded till 
he returned. " For fortresses," said he, " will be 
excellent bulwarks against the power of Edward, 
who, if we lose our strongholds, or suffer them to 
fall to decay, may be able to over-ride our country 
at his pleasure." 


At the head of three hundred Scots, well armed 
and equipped, and mounted on the best of the 
horses that had carried the English troopers, Wal- 
lace took his way to Glasgow, and passed the 
bridge across the Clyde, leading to the city, before 
the English were aware of their approach. The 
Bishop, when he was informed that enemies were 
coming, had no doubt that Wallace was at their 
head, and, assembling his force, amounting to a 
thousand men, marched forth to meet him. Wal- 
lace, in the hope of doing greater execution on the 
enemy, divided his small force into two bodies, 
taking himself the command of one, and assigning 
the other to his uncle Auchinleck, who was well 
acquainted with the ground, and whom he asked, 
on making his arrangements, whether he would 
prefer to meet the Bishop face to face, and ask his 
blessing, or to go round behind him, and take the 
tail of his robe. 

u I will leave the most honourable post to you, 11 
replied Auchinleck ; "for you have perhaps not 
been confirmed, and may need the Bishop's 
benison, while I shall be quite content to look 
after his train. 11 

u Very well," rejoined Wallace, " but try to 
rejoin us as quickly as possible, and take care, if 


you can, that the English may not see us separate, 
for they may but be the more encouraged ; and the 
men of Northumberland, remember, are all stout 
warriors." The uncle and nephew then shook 
hands and parted, the uncle being accompanied 
by Adam Wallace of Riccartoun. 

Wallace and Boyd led the other division up the 
principal street towards the castle. The Scots 
were few in comparison with their adversaries, but 
the narrowness of the way was in their favour, and 
a terrible conflict began. Wallace pressed forward 
with irresistible force, and numbers of the English, 
though well skilled in arms, fell to the ground 
before him and his men. Adam Wallace and 
Auchinleck soon came to his support, and, entering 
the battle on the flank, separated the enemy into 
two parties. Wallace had now more room to 
swing his huge sword around, and tradition still 
speaks, among the inhabitants of Glasgow, of the 
overwhelming might with which he then swept 
down his adversaries on all sides. With others 
fell Henry of Horncaster, the standard-bearer of 
the Bishop, whose men were then seized with 
terror, and a body of four hundred, taking the 
Bishop with them, fled out of the town by the 
Friars' Church into a neighbouring wood. Nor 


did they make a stand there, but, haying merely 
halted a while to refresh their horses, sped forward 
to Bothwell. They were, however, pursued by 
Wallace and his men, who had now slain or scat- 
tered the rest, and not a few of them were over- 
taken and killed ; but the most active of them, 
with Beck himself, effected their escape, chiefly 
through the shelter afforded them by Sir Aymer 
de Vallence, towards the borders of England. 

Wallace then took his way to Dundaff, where 
he was made heartily welcome, and gave Sir 
John Grahame, his host, a full account of all that 
happened at Ayr and Glasgow. Sir John ex- 
pressed great regret that he had not been with him 
to take part in the transactions. He remained at 
Dundaff five days, during which he received intel- 
ligence of various proceedings in other parts of the 




In the district of Lorn, in Argyleshire, Sir Neil 
Campbell, who had made no submission to Edward, 
still kept possession of l^is lands of Lochow, though 
the king, in order to gain some control over that 
part of Scotland, had made a grant of Argyle and 
Lorn to an Irishman named Mac Fadyan; a grant 
in which the Duke of Argyle had concurred ; for, 
having been made a nobleman of England by 
Edward, he hoped to gain greater advantages by 
residing at the English Court. Sir Duncan Camp- 
bell of Lorn, however, resembled Sir Neil of 
Lochow in resisting the mandate of Edward, and 
both resolved to oppose any force that might in- 
vade their territories. 

Mac Fadyan, to gain possession of what had 
been granted him, landed, at the head of a tumul- 



tuary force of several thousand Irish and renegade 
Scots, in Lorn, where they ravaged the country 
without mercy, destroying the dwellings and the 
lives of all that dared to oppose them. At length 
he entered Lochow, hut Sir Neil defended himself 
with great resolution and skill, and succeeded in 
luring his adversary to the entrance of Bradher 
pass, a difficult and perilous defile, where, after 
crossing the Awe, he broke down the bridge 
behind him, and thus placed himself in one of the 
strongest positions; for he had, on one side, a 
castle that protected the only approach by which 
he could be assailed, and on the other a deep and 
rapid river, which communicates with a large lake 
of the same name. Mac Fadyan sought for a 
practicable road, but found only a pass leading 
from a ford, by which only a few could pass at a 
time, and which he durst not attempt, lest the 
enemy should hurl rocks upon him from above ; 
but, as the country abounded in cattle, he hoped 
to maintain himself there till starvation should 
oblige Sir Neil to surrender. 

In this emergency Sir Neil despatched Duncan 
of Lorn, attended by an old Highlander named 
Michael, well acquainted with the country, to 
Pundaff, to inform Wallace of his situation, and 


desire his assistance against the invaders. Sir 
Neil and Wallace had been at school together at 
Dundee, and Wallace, on receiving the message, 
was eager to inarch to his relief. Earl Malcolm, 
with whom Wallace was now in communication, 
and who had secured himself in possession of the 
Lennox, offered his aid; Richard of Lundin, a 
powerful baron in Fife, brought him, at the same 
time, five hundred men ; and Sir John Gra- 
hame resolved to join him ; so that he found him- 
self in a condition to march into the Highlands at 
the head of two thousand men. 

On their way, they had to pass by Stirling 
Castle, which was then held by Rokeby with 
a strong garrison. As they approached the place, 
Wallace suggested to Earl Malcolm a project for 
taking it; he proposed that they should divide 
their force, to conceal its full strength, into several 
bands, that Earl Malcolm, with a large body, 
should place himself in ambush, and that he him- 
self, with Sir John Grahame, and a hundred 
followers, should ride straight through the town. 
The Earl having acquiesced in this proposal, Wal- 
lace and Sir John took the public way towards the 
bridge ; and Rokeby, observing them, and seeing 
the sraallness of their number, determined upon 



attacking them, and rode forth against them at 
the head of a hundred and forty bowmen. A 
fierce encounter immediately ensued; Wallace 
and Sir John Graham e did great execution with 
their spears, until they broke, when they both 
drew their swords and assailed their adversaries 
hand to hand. Sir John's horse was killed by 
arrows, and he was obliged to fight on foot ; 
Wallace alighted to support him, and they exerted 
themselves with such effect, that the English 
began to think of retiring to the castle, but Earl 
Malcolm, with a portion of his force, intercepted 
their way to the gate, and many of them were 
cut to pieces. In the tumult, Wallace came in 
contact with Rokeby, whom he brought down with 
a stroke of his sword; but his two sons, with 
about twenty men, effected their escape to the 
castle. Earl Malcolm, with the consent of Wal- 
lace, resolved on securing this fortress, and, after 
three days siege, obliged the Rokebys to surrender. 
Leaving Earl Malcolm to keep possession of the 
place, Wallace pursued his way to attack Mac 
Fadyan, Duncan of Lorn acting as guide on the 
inarch, and Michael being sent forward to recon- 
noitre. When they reached Strathfillan, the foot 
soldiers began to grow tired and fall behind.. 


Wallace therefore found it necessary to halt, ai}d 
calling the chief of his men around him, ad- 
dressed them thus : 

" My friends/' said he, " it will not do for us 
to advance on the enemy in this fashion. If we 
fell in with them in broken array, we may incur 
great peril ourselves, and do them but little injury. 
Yet we should be upon them as soon as possible ; 
for, if they hear of our approach, they may come 
about us on open ground, where their numbers 
may give them advantage. To prevent this, T 
propose to leave' those who are tired to follow at 
leisure, and to go forward at once with the most 
vigorous and fresh of you, divided into two or 
three bodies, so as to attack the enemy at different 
points." He accordingly took three hundred men 
under his own command and that of Sir John 
Grahame; gave five hundred to Sir Richard 
Lundin and Wallace of Riccartoun ; and left the 
rest to follow as soon as they should be able. 

They then crossed a mountain that lay in 
front of them, and found themselves in the valley 
of Glendochar, where they were met by Michael 
and Sir Neil Campbell, with three hundred High- 
landers • for Sir Neil, having heard from Michael 
of the advance of Wallace, thought proper to meet 


him, leaving the pass open to Mac Fadyan, who, 
if he marched through it, would find very few 
positions where his numbers would give him ad- 
vantage. Michael was again sent forward to watch 
the motions of the enemy, and, meeting with a 
spy from Mac Fadyan, put him to death, after 
forcing from him the intelligence that it was Mac 
Fadyan's intention to advance in the course of 
the day. The Scots resolved to continue their 
march, and, as the ground was become impassable 
for cavalry, dismounted, and made their way on 
foot between the lake and the mountain. Here 
they succeeded in surprising the enemy in a posi- 
tion where retreat was almost impracticable, and 
where the superiority of their numbers was rather 
a disadvantage, as they were confined on one side 
by steep rocks and on the other by deep water. 
The conflict was commenced without delay ; Mac 
Fadyan's disorderly host was speedily broken, and 
repulsed with great slaughter, but, from their 
great multitude, they were enabled to rally and 
renew the contest again and again. But such was 
the courage and perseverance of Wallace's party, 
that resistance at length became useless ; after 
maintaining the struggle for two hours, the Irish 
saw such passages cut through their throng by 


Wallace, Grahame, Robert Boyd, and the other 
chieftains, that they lost heart, and were compelled 
to recede. Some were forced over the rocks into 
the gulfs below ; others threw themselves into the 
lake to escape the swords of their antagonists; 
while various companies of archers, some from 
Wallace's own party, and others from the neigh- 
bouring country, sent down showers of arrows and 
stones on the fugitives. Such of the Scots as had 
joined Mac Fadyan, threw down their arms and 
implored to be admitted to quarter ; and Wallace 
gave orders that none of his countrymen should 
be slain, while none of the foreigners should be 
allowed to escape. 

Mac Fadyan, with fifteen of his men, fled to 
Graigmore, and attempted to conceal himself in a 
cave ; but Duncan of Lorn, with Wallace's per- 
mission, pursued him to his retreat, and brought 
back his head on a spear. 

Many weapons were found on the field of battle, 
and much spoil, which Wallace distributed liberally 
among his followers. 




When this victory was gained, Wallace called 
a council of the chiefs of those parts at Ardchattan, 
in order to settle, as far as was possible, the affairs 
of the country. A great number assembled, and 
matters were amicably adjusted. Duncan was 
established in the possession of Lorn, with the 
condition that if his brother's son should quit the 
side of Edward, the lands should be delivered to 
him as the rightful heir. 

At this time, many faithful Scots came to join 
Wallace. Among them was Sir John Ramsay 
of Ochterhouse with sixty men, a warlike and 
worthy knight, who, though greatly impoverished 
by the confiscation of his estates, had contrived to 
make a stand against the English in Strathern, 
and who was the father of Sir Alexander Ramsav, 


so much celebrated for his pleasing manners, that 
it was said that he who had not known Ramsay had 
not known true courtliness. Another was Sinclair, 
Bishop of Dunkeld, who, spoiled of his benefits 
by the English, was living under the protection of 
James, Lord Steward of Bute. 

When the business at Ardchattan was con- 
cluded, Wallace and his force took their way to 
the Bishop's old residence, the town of Dunkeld, 
where he remained some days, meditating, at the 
same time, how to attack and capture Perth. 
Having conferred with Sir John Ramsay, who 
knew something of the state of things there, as to 
the propriety of making such an attempt, lie 
received Sir John's approbation of it at once, 
" For," said he, " though the ditch is deep, the 
walls are low, and you have such a number of men 
with you that you may soon fill up a portion of 
the ditch so as to pour a thousand men into the 
place in a body." 

Having spent four days in making preparations 
for the assault, during which Ramsay constructed 
battering rams and other engines, which were con- 
veyed on rafts along the river, they directed their 
march towards Perth. When they reached it, 
the host encompassed the town, filled a large part 

K 5 


of the ditch with earth and stone, laid long j.lanks 
over it, and effected an easy passage to the walls, 
which they immediately proceeded to batter. 
Ramsay and Sir John Grahame besieged the 
turret bridge, while Wallace directed his efforts 
against other parts. The English made an obsti- 
nate defence with their cross-bows, spears, and 
machines for hurling stones, but the Scots, nothing 
daunted, soon gained a lodgment on the walls, 
and wet their weapons with English blood. Troop 
after troop passed into the place ; Ramsay and 
Grahame forced the gate at the Turret Bridge, 
and the whole town was at the- mercy of the; 
Scots. The English were totally overwhelmed; 
Sir John Sivart, the governor, seeing that farther 
resistance was useless, fled, with sixty of his men, 
in a light barge, down the river, and sought 
shelter at Dundee. More than a thousand of the 
English were killed in the streets, the rest were 
expelled; and great quantities of provisions and 
other valuable spoils were captured. Ruthven, 
who now joined Wallace's party, was appointed 
governor, with a sufficient garrison ; and Wallace, 
having stayed long enough to make arrangements, 
proceeded towards the north. 




When he reached Aberdeenshire, he summoned 
a council of chiefs, and, having conferred with 
them, went to Cupar, to visit the abbey there, 
from which the English abbot fled at his approach. 
At Glamis he was met by Bishop Sinclair, and 
marched from thence to Brechin, where, with 
solemn ceremony, he unfurled the banner of Scot- 
land, and openly declared war against the English. 
Hence he proceeded through the country in order 
of battle, the English retiring before him towards 
the promontory of Dunottar, where a large body 
of them took shelter in the church of Eayne. 
Bishop Sinclair sought to prevail on Wallace to 
make a treaty with them, engaging to spare their 
lives on condition that they quitted the country ; 
but Wallace, remembering the massacre at Ayr, 


was indisposed to mercy, and set fire to the 
church, when some were consumed in the flames, 
and others fled to the rocks, from which many 
leaped or fell, and were dashed to pieces or 
drowned in the sea. 

He then went forward to Aberdeen, from 
whence the English were hastening their depar- 
ture, and finding their ships, to the number of a 
hundred, in the harbour, with a great portion of 
their property on board, he fell upon them when 
the tide was. low, plundered them, and set them 
on fire. In consequence, none of the English 
escaped, but were all put to death except the 
priests, women, and children. 

Proceeding still northwards, he entered the 
district of Buchan, which was under the rule of 
Earl Beaumont, who made no resistance, but fled 
to Staines, and from thence by sea to England. 
In Croraartie the Scots slew great numbers of the 
English, and returning again by Aberdeen, which 
they reached on Lammas Eve, with a still in- 
creasing force, they resolved on directing their 
course southwards, and laying siege to Dundee, 
which was almost the only fortress, north of the 
Forth, of which they had not gained possession. 

In the meantime, Sir Aymer de Vallence had 


quitted Bothwell, and passed into England with 
all his household to join King Edward, to whom 
he gave an alarming account of the progress made 
by Wallace in expelling the English. Edward was 
unable, at that time, to go to Scotland himself, but 
commissioned Cressingham, his treasurer, and Earl 
Warrenne, to assemble a numerous force, and 
march into the country as far as Stirling, then 
held by Earl Malcolm, to which they were at once 
to lay siege, and, if they failed in taking it, to 
wait there till he should come himself to take the 
command. This force was met on the banks of 
the Tweed by Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, commonly 
called Corspatrick, whose treachery to his country 
did it great mischief, and who accompanied them 
to Stirling, against which they immediately pro- 
ceeded to act, having great hopes of reducing it 
before King Edward should leave England. 

But Wallace, when lie heard of their proceed- 
ings, relinquished his operations at Dundee, and, 
leaving Sir Alexander Scrymgeour, with two thou- 
sand men of Angus, to blockade the place, marched 
off by Perth to Sheriff-Muir, where he encamped, 
and held a conference with Ramsay and Sir John 
Grahame about their further proceedings. 

" We are too few," said he, " to offer the enemy 


battle in the x open field, but there will be other 
modes of acting against thein." 

" Nay," said Sir John Grahame ; " we have 
encountered in battle as large a force as this with 
a smaller force of our own, and have been vic- 

46 Yes," returned Wallace ; " but we were thus 
venturesome only when circumstances rendered it 
necessary. Such defiance to the English host, 
at present, would be but rashness. I have con- 
ceived a stratagem by which I trust that we may 
injure them with better effect." 

He then gave orders to Grimsby that the army 
should be drawn up in battle array, and be at 
Stirling on the Tuesday following. He himself, 
with Grahame and Ramsay, rode on to Stirling 
Bridge on Saturday, taking with them a skilful 
carpenter, whom he directed to saw through the 
bridge, which was of wood, secretly, on the Mon- 
day night, but to prop it up with planks so that 
it should not fall till they were withdrawn. This 
commission the carpenter and his men executed 
with great success; and the carpenter himself 
took post in a cradle under the bridge in readiness 
to cause the supports to be removed whenever he 
should hear a signal from Wallace's horn. 


The day for the great struggle approached. A 
vast body of the English, seeing the advance of 
Wallace towards the bridge, marched in battle 
array to meet him. As their number was at least 
six times as great as that of the enemy, they 
had no distrust of the result, but hoped to over- 
power the Scots at the first onset. Wallace and 
his men awaited their approach on foot. Cres- 
singham led the van of the English, supported by 
Sir Marmaduke Twenge, a brave knight of York- 
shire. The Earl of Warrenne followed with the 
second division, acting the part of prudence rather 
than of courage. Cressingham and his force 
crossed the bridge first, and Warrenne was pre- 
paring to follow, when Wallace was urged by some 
of his friends to give the signal to the carpenter, 
but he refrained till the half of Warrenne^s com- 
pany had passed over, and then, taking his horn 
from Grimsby, sounded a loud blast, at which the 
carpenter and his men withdrew the props, and 
the bridge and all that were upo*n it descended 
with a crash. A hideous cry arose from the 
English as they saw horse and man tumbled into 
the river. The Scots delayed the commencement 
of the battle no longer, but assailed, with the 
utmost impetuosity, that portion of the army 


which had crossed. Wallace, and Sir John Gra- 
hame, Boyd, Ramsay, and Lundin, were foremost 
in the contest, fighting hand to hand with the 
enemy. The English recoiled before the fierceness 
of the Scottish onset. Wallace, coming in contact 
with Cressingham in the midst of the tumult, 
struck him and his horse to the ground with one 
stroke of his two-handed sword, and then drove 
the weapon through his body. His death greatly 
damped the ardour of his men, but they still 
protracted the struggle till their numbers were so 
diminished that longer resistance was useless, when 
they fled in all directions to seek places of refuge. 
Many were drowned in the Forth, and at last, 
of all that had crossed the bridge, scarcely a man 
was left. 

The English on the other side of the river, as 
soon as they saw the fate of their countrymen, had 
fled with great precipitation, taking the road to- 
wards Dunbar. The Scots hastened after them, 
Earl Malcolm, and a great portion of the garrison, 
coming forth to join in the pursuit. Many were 
slain in the Torwood, and many in other parts. 
Earl Warrenne, with Corspatrick as a guide, 
mounted on fresh horses, hurried across the coun- 
try, and reached Dunbar with a very few fol- 


lowers. Wallace and Sir John Grahame continued 
the chase in company, and slew many of the 
enemy at Haddington. Here also assembled 
Ramsay, Boyd, Richard of Lundin, Adam Wal- 
lace, and Earl Malcolm ; and, on inquiring about 
the rest, they found that no Scot of any note was 
killed, except Andrew Murray of Bothwell. 

The battle was fought on the 1 1th day of Sep- 
tember, 1297. 




The Scottish leaders remained that night at 
Haddington, and returned the next day to Stirling. 
Soon after, Wallace called together such of the 
barons as were well affected to their country, ex- 
horted them to unite in defence of the liberty of 
Scotland, and made them take an oath to do their 
utmost for the promotion of that object. Among 
those who took this oath was Sir John Menteith, 
then lord of Arran, who, of his own accord, pre- 
sented himself among the barons, and swore to be 
true to the cause of Wallace and Scotland. Some 
of the chief men, who were proved to have acted 
a treacherous part, he caused to be put to death, 
and others, who were less guilty, to be imprisoned; 
and the feme of his authority and influence was 


spread more and more widely throughout England 
as well as Scotland. 

Dundee was surrendered by the English on 
condition that their lives should be spared, and 
that they should be allowed to embark in their 
vessels for their own country. Other fortresses 
were evacuated by the English commanders, and, 
within ten days after the meeting at Stirling, there 
was not a single stronghold in Scotland left in 
the hands of King Edward, except the castles of 
Berwick and Roxburgh; and these also Wallace 
hoped soon to reduce. 

There was living at this time, in Jedburgh forest, 
Crystall of Seyton, a brave and worthy knight, 
who was strongly attached to the cause of Scot- 
land, and had done much damage on different 
occasions, to the English. Edward had made some 
attempts to draw him over to the English side, 
but without success ; and, though outlawed, he had 
been left for some time without molestation. As 
Harbottle, the English governor of Jedburgh, was 
in flight, with a hundred and sixty of his men, 
towards the borders, he was met by Seyton and his 
followers in the forest, and slain, with many of his 
band. Seyton took from them much gold and other 
valuables, which they were carrying off with them ; 


and then took possession of the castle, which he 
left, at Wallace's desire, to the guardianship of 
Ruthven, while he himself retired to Lothian, 
where his estates lay. 

Wallace then proceeded to make arrangements 
for the government of the country. He appointed 
commandants of fortresses, and sheriffs of counties, 
some of his own kindred, and some of other influ- 
ential families. He made his cousin Crawford, an 
honest Scot, Governor of Edinburgh Castle. 

Scotland was now free. Wallace acted as go- 
vernor of the country until the king could be 
recalled to his throne. 

Edward was at this time in Flanders. The 
Council of England, who conducted the adminis- 
tration in his absence, sent letters, about a fort- 
night after the battle at Stirling Bridge, to such of 
the nobility of Scotland as had opposed Wallace, 
praising them for their fidelity to Edward, and 
exhorting them to support Brian Fitz-Alan, who 
had been appointed the King's Lieutenant in Scot- 
land, to the utmost of their power, and to use 
every means at their command to stop the progress 
of Wallace, whom they stigmatised as a rebel and 
a traitor. 


«ooft V. 


For five months Scotland had rest. Towards 
the end of that period, Wallace called a council at 
Perth, to which he summoned ecclesiastics, barons, 
and burgesses. Corspatrick, the Earl of Dunbar, 
refused to attend, and, remaining in his castle, 
replied to the summons with scorn. In his absence, 
many disparaging reflections were cast upon him 
by the nobility, and most of them recommended 
that severe measures should be adopted against 
him. But Wallace advised a milder mode of pro- 
ceeding, and proposed that a message of peace 
should be sent to him, stating that his compeers 
would forgive all that he had done, if he would but 
make his appearance before them, acknowledge 


that he had been in the wrong, and promise to be 
true for the future to his country and his rightful 
king. To this proposal the whole council assented, 
and a letter to that effect was despatched to him. 

This communication he received with derision, 
saying, " If Wallace governs the land, there must 
be great want of a good ruler. I acknowledge no 
King of Kyle, for I never had a furrow of land 
from him. Go," added he to the messengers, 
" and tell Wallace and the rest of the council, that 
I owe them no allegiance, and will make no sub- 
mission to them, nor enter into any bond with 
them. I am here on my own lands, and I have 
also lands in England, and I am as free to rule in 
either, being lord of my own, as ever prince or 
king could be. This is my answer, and you will 
have no other from me." 

When the messengers returned with this reply, 
the council expressed indignation, and Wallace 
was furious with rage. " My lords," said he, " if 
this insolence be tolerated, things will be as bad 
with us as they were. What heaven has enabled 
us to do with the rest of the country, we must also 
do with his part of it. We must either oblige 
him to acknowledge us as his superiors, or put him 
to death. For my own part, I am resolved either 


to reduce him to submission, or to die in the 
attempt. But he shall be made to repent of his 
insolence, unless my arm, and those of my fol- 
lowers, prove of less effect than I have hitherto 
found them." 

The nobles approved of his resolution, and, 
when the meeting separated, he proceeded from 
Perth towards Dunbar, at the head of a large 
force, taking the road by Kinghorn, and from 
thence to Musselburgh, .where he was joined by 
Robert Lauder, and Crystall of Seyton, with con- 
siderable reinforcements. A squire named Lyall, 
with some followers, came to him at Linton, 
and, as he was well acquainted with the country, 
his assistance was of great value. Turning to the 
east of Dunbar, Wallace found that Corspatrick 
had got notice of the designs against him, and had 
posted himself, with a large force, in a plain near 
Innerwick. Lauder advised that they should 
march between him and Dunbar, and attack him 
without delay. "Be in no haste," said Wallace, 
" for you will find that you have to deal with a 
man who knows well how to defend himself, and 
whom we must not assail lightly or incautiously. 
A stouter warrior is not to be found in all Scot- 
land, and, if he would but be steadfast to his true 


king, his vigour and wit might be of great service 
to us; but his perverseness and self-will will be 
his ruin." 

The engagement began as soon as the two forces 
came near each other. The onset on both sides 
was furious; the leaders and the men fought 
with equal resolution ; great numbers were soon 
stretched on the earth ; and it was sad to see men 
of the same country shedding one another's blood 
in the most deadly of civil conflicts. But Cors- 
patrick, dismayed at the slaughter among his 
men, was at length compelled to flee, and directed 
his retreat towards Dunbar, which, however, he 
had neither soldiers nor resources to defend against 
Wallace's army. It was accordingly reduced the 
same night, and Wallace entrusted the guardian- 
ship of it to Cry stall of Seyton. 

Corspatrick again took flight, passing through 
Ettrick forest into England by Norham, and, in 
conjunction with Bishop Beck, whom Wallace had 
driven from Glasgow, proceeded to raise a formid- 
able force in Northumberland. They also, by 
deceitful misrepresentations, prevailed on Robert 
Bruce to take part with them, persuading him that 
Wallace was a rebel to Baliol as well as to Edward, 
and that he was striving to secure the crown for 




The English assembled, in the northern counties, 
an army of several thousand men, and stationed a 
numerous fleet off the mouth of the Tyne, to pre- 
vent supplies from being brought to Dunbar by 
sea, while Corspatrick led on a large detachment of 
their force to besiege the place by land. The rest 
of their troops remained at Norham, under the 
command of Bruce and Bishop Beck. 

Wallace, meanwhile, was not inactive. He col- 
lected five thousand men, all thoroughly armed, 
and hastened to relieve Crystall of Seyton. As 
he was halting at Yester for the night, he was 
joined by Hay, who came from Duns Forest with 
fifty men, and, knowing the position of Corspatrick, 
urged Wallace to attack him without delay. Wal- 
lace needed no incitement to the encounter, though 



he was anxious to take precautions against falling 
into any snare. Corspatrick, when he was apprised 
of Wallace's motions, sent a messenger to Bishop 
Beck to ask succour from him ; and the Bishop, 
who was eager to take revenge for his expulsion 
from Glasgow, lost no time in complying with the 
request. He marched through Lammermuir, and 
stationed himself in ambush, according to Cors- 
patrick's desire, at Spottmuir, about five miles 
distant from Dunbar. Wallace, though constantly 
on the watch, was long unaware of the Bishop's 
proximity; but at length a scout brought him 
word that Corspatrick was moving from the walls, 
and leading his whole force towards Spott, where 
he soon found that the Bishop and Corspatrick had 
united their forces, and were waiting his approach 
on an open plain. Seyton, leaving a few of his 
men in the castle, marched forth with the rest to 
support Wallace. 

Many of the Scots, when they saw the large 
number of the enemy, began to be afraid of so 
unequal an encounter. Grimsby advised Wallace 
to withdraw, as he would but sacrifice his men's lives 
uselessly, and to betake himself to some strong- 
hold, where he might make a stand until reinforce- 
ments could be obtained. " No," replied Wallace, 
bt I will not retreat ; I have no fear myself, nor 


any apprehension that my adherents will fail to do 
their utmost. We are, besides, too near the enemy, 
who, if we were to turn our backs upon them, 
might pursue us, and do us vast damage." 

The battle commenced with great fury. Both 
sides used their spears and swords with deadly 
effect, but more of the English were disabled than 
of the Scots. Yet Corspatrick undauntedly main- 
tained the contest, and his followers, by his 
example, were withheld from flight. Wallace felt 
assured that his men would never yield ; and the 
leaders, keeping their troops in a body, fought with 
determined resolution. Sir John Grahame, Ram- 
say, Adam Wallace of Riccartoun, Richard of 
Lundy, Hay and Lyall, Boyd, Barclay, and 
Lauder, were particularly distinguished in the 
combat. Corspatrick, though he fought fiercely, 
and slew many of the enemy, was so hard pressed 
that his men began to give way. But Bishop Beck 
and Robert Bruce supported him so effectually, 
that he was still enabled to maintain the struggle. 
Bishop Beck's efforts, both in fighting and com- 
manding, were especially distinguished; nor did 
Bruce fail to do whatever he found practicable. 
Wallace pressed forward with the hope of encoun- 
tering Bruce, but such was the crowd of men 



-u hand, where Corspatrick, though he followed 
iiom thither, did not venture to assail them, but 
lilting fortune for having disappointed him, with- 
. row to join Bishop Beck. He thus kept the field, 
ut with the loss of a great number of men. Five 
idiidred of the Scots were killed, but no man of 
my note. 

Neither the Bishop nor Corspatrick was disposed 
o remain where they were, for fear of a surprise 
Vom the Scots during the night. They therefore 
withdrew to Lammermuir, and posted themselves 
in the strongest position that they could select. 
The people of the neighbourhood, in the meantime, 
were gathering fast to the support of Wallace. 
Crawford also brought him a reinforcement of three 
hundred from Edinburgh ; and Ruthven and Sir 
William Lang, from Tweeddale and Douglas, fur- 
nished additional supplies. Thus strengthened, 
Wallace thought himself in sufficient force to 
make another attempt on the enemy, and advanced 
towards Lammermuir. Dividing his army into 
two parts, be gave the command of the one to Sir 
John I and took the other under his own. 

f 'Lay that they came upon the 
whom were unprepared for 
a ted whether to fight or flee, 
men penetrated the camp with 


resistless impetuosity ; a few of the enemy stood 
their ground, but most were seized with terror, 
and gave way ; some were smothered before they 
were half awake ; and the shouts and groans on 
every side were appalling, Graham e, on his part, 
did equal execution, and at last the whole English 
host felt a general panic, and fled with precipita- 
tion. Bishop Beck was the last to retire, after 
having made repeated efforts to rally his men, 
in which he was well supported by one of his de- 
pendants named Skelton, who kept by his side to 
defend him, but Bichard of Lundy, coming in 
contact with Skelton, struck off his head with a 
Bweep of his sword. All the three leaders, Beck, 
Corspatrick, and Bruce, then took to flight, direct- 
ing their course towards Norham Castle. The 
Scots pursued them as far as the Tweed; and 
great numbers in the chase were put to the sword, 
or drowned in the river, with the fords of which 
they were but imperfectly acquainted. 

Wallace was much concerned for Bruce, whom 
he earnestly wished to have on his side, and was 
rejoiced to find that he was not killed. The lands 
of Corspatrick he laid waste without remorse, pull- 
ing down all his strongholds throughout Lothian 
and the neighbouring parts, except Dunbar, and 
carrying off great quantities of spoil. 




On the eighteenth day after he had quitted the 
council at Perth, Wallace returned thither, and 
the sitting of the council was prolonged. The 
members of it expressed unanimous approbation of 
what he had done, and were more than ever dis- 
posed to look up to him as the only man capable 
of ruling the kingdom. 

About the same time he received a commission 
from John Baliol, appointing him and Sir Andrew 
Murray, who had succeeded Sir Andrew, that was 
killed at Stirling Bridge, in the lordship of the 
lands of Bothwell, joint leaders of the army of 

He then turned his attention to the military 
regulation of the kingdom, making it his object 
that there should always be a sufficient available 


force for its defence, and for the maintenance of 
its independence. Without interfering with the 
feudal system, which gave the nobles and barons 
the power of withholding their dependents from 
the national army, or allowing them to join it at 
their pleasure, and which, affording opportunities 
to the lords of indulging their jealousy or caprice, 
had prevented or diminished the success of mam- 
important enterprises, he proposed a plan of mili- 
tary organization which he conceived would be 
adapted to the general condition and interests of 
the country. Having divided the whole kingdom 
into districts, he desired that a list should be kept 
in each of all the males that were able to bear arms, 
between the ages of sixteen and sixty. These he 
meant to unite into permanent bodies, by appoint- 
ing over every four men a fifth, over every nine a 
tenth, and over every nineteen a twentieth, the 
gradation in numbers and rank advancing until it 
reached the commander of a thousand. Every 
individual of this force was to be required, on 
penalty of death, to join the national army 
whenever he was summoned; and any baron 
that prohibited his vassals from appearing, was 
to be made subject to imprisonment or confiscation 
of his estates. 


He directed his thoughts also to the promotion 
of commerce, and in conjunction with Murray, 
despatched a letter to the authorities at Hamburgh 
and Lubeck, thanking them for all favours that 
they had shown to the Scottish merchants, solicit- 
ing a continuance and increase of friendly inter- 
course, and promising all merchants of Holland 
safe access to the ports of the kingdom of Scotland, 
which, he thanked God, had been recovered from 
the dominion of the English. At the head of this 
epistle he placed Murray's name, from a feeling of 
courtesy, before his own. 

To such of the principal men of the country as 
had supported him in his late efforts, he made 
various grants of lands, offices, and other pri- 
vileges. The estates of Stanton, which were 
taken from Sir Aymer de Vallence, he gave to 
Robert Lauder; those of Bridge-end Crook, to 
Sir Walter Lyle; and others to other deserving 
leaders, among whom was Sir Alexander Scrym- 
geour, than whom none had been more devoted 
to the service of his country. To his own rela- 
tives he gave no lands, lest he should be accused 
of covetousness, or inordinate ambition, but on 
some of them, whom he thought deserving of 
reward or encouragement, he conferred such offices 


223 iff* T'LUaH '.VaEXAijE. 

<** he •*<>n.*i tiered mit.u>ie 'o :heir Silkies. F>r 
*Il *haf. he <ii«L he 'Lif!iareti hinueif responsible to 
hi* kin/, t*> whom he imped to render a tull 
#wwijnt of hi.-i proceeding, &* *xjq as he -jliuuld 
return to hi* throne. 




While Wallace was employed in these arrange- 
ments, news reached him in the month of Novem- 
ber, that King Edward, stimulated by Corspatrick, 
who had fled to the English Court, was preparing 
to invade Scotland. Wallace resolved to anticipate 
his movements, and accordingly summoned a 
meeting of the chief barons, and all that were 
able to bear arms, on Eoslyn Muir. Here he 
called the nobles around him, and said, "My 
lords, we hear that King Edward still persists in 
asserting his right to our country, and is making 
preparations to invade it; and I think it well that, 
as he is resolved to commit violence on our lands, 
we should proceed, before he can reach us, to make 
depredations on his territories, so that he may see 
that we defy his power, and are ready, not only to 
meet him in battle, but to provoke him to it. He 


has oppressed us, and we have thrown off his 
yoke ; he has injured us, let us retaliate. 

" I will not call on any of you to accompany me 
that are not well inclined to the enterprise ; I will 
leave it entirely to your choice whether to go with 
me or not. For myself, my purpose is to exert 
myself in the field to the utmost ; to do as much 
damage to the English lands, and to carry off as 
much spoil as shall be in my power ; and whoever 
among those that follow me shall allow himself to 
be captured by the enemy, shall never, with my 
consent, be ransomed." 

To this address the barons listened with plea- 
sure, and assured him of their cordial support. 
He then selected twenty thousand of the best men 
that had assembled, taking care that they were 
all well armed and equipped, and furnishing a 
large portion of them, by the aid of Grimsby, with 
horses and equestrian accoutrements. Those whom 
he did not take with him, he exhorted to return 
to their homes, and apply themselves to husban- 
dry, which, by reason of the unsettled state of the 
country, had been greatly neglected. 

When they were all mustered at Roslyn, he 
said to them, "We are sufficiently numerous and 
strong, my fellow-countrymen, if we be but reso- 



lute and united. We must remember that we have 
all the same objects in view, to weaken our enemy, 
and to strengthen and enrich ourselves. Our 
realm is exhausted by the spoliations of the 
English, and we must recruit its resources from 
English wealth. With courage and determination, 
we cannot well be discomfited in a pitched battle, 
and with activity and energy, we shall make ample 
reprisals on those who have wasted our posses- 
sions.' 1 

Wallace was cheerfully accompanied by many 
of the principal men, among whom was Malcolm, 
Earl of Lennox, by whose prudence and vigour he 
was extremely glad to be assisted ; Campbell of 
Lochow; Sir John Grahame; Adam Wallace of 
Riccartoun; Richard of Lundy; Ramsay, Robert 
Boyd, Auchinleck, Lauder, Hay, and Seyton. 
The army proceeded to Bruce's Field, in Teviot- 
dale, where they halted for some time ; and Wal- 
lace, taking fifty men with him, rode to the gates 
of Roxburgh Castle, and sought an interview with 
Sir Ralph Gray the governor, to whom he said, 
" We are on our way to invade England, and 
have no time to spend at present on the siege of 
your fortress ; but I warn you to be prepared on 
our return, to give up the keys to us ; for, if you 


are not ready to do so, and force us to reduce the 
place by siege, I assure you, before all these wit- 
nesses, that I shall hang you on your own walls." 
A similar message he sent by Ramsay to the town 
of Berwick. 

He then crossed the Tweed, and laid waste the 
lands throughout Northumberland and Cumber- 
land. In this work of devastation they were 
joined by Robert de Eos of Werk, a great northern 
baron, who had deserted the standard of Edward 
at Dunbar. The town of Durham, and some 
other places of less note, they destroyed by fire ; 
but abbeys and churches, as far as was possible, 
they spared. They then advanced into Yorkshire, 
committing similar ravages, for none were inclined 
to mercy, as they considered that they were only 
retaliating upon their enemies for what they them- 
selves had suffered. 

When they had been fifteen days in England, a 
deputation, consisting of a knight, a squire, and a 
clerk, was sent to them on the part of King 
Edward, soliciting a cessation from ravaging, and 
other hostilities, for forty days, at the end of 
which time he would give Wallace battle. To 
this proposal Wallace acceded, and the messengers 
returned to London, where they expressed them- 


selves greatly surprised at the warlike appearance 
of the Scots, and the regal bearing and excellent 
understanding of their leader. Wallace imme- 
diately withdrew from the neighbourhood of York, 
and encamped near Northallerton, proclaiming 
peace for forty days, and promising that the people 
of the neighbourhood should be suffered during 
that time, to carry on their business unmolested. 

One Sir Ralph Raymont, Governor of Malton, 
disregarded this truce, and attempted one night, 
with a large force, to surprise Wallace. Some 
Scots, however, who were settled in those parts, 
gave him notice of what was intended. He ac- 
cordingly despatched Richard of Lundy and Hay, 
with three thousand men, to intercept Raymont 
on his march. These two leaders, guided by the 
Scots who had brought the intelligence, placed 
themselves in ambush by the side of the way, and 
sallied forth on Sir Ralph and his force, as they 
were passing, with such impetuosity, that a large 
portion of them were killed, and the rest put to 
flight. Raymont himself was pierced through 
with a spear. Wallace then came to the support 
of Lundy and Hay, and pursuing the fugitives 
into the town of Malton, killed many of them, and 
brought off several waggon-loads of spoil. 




Wallace fortified his camp carerully and strongly, 
to guard a<rainst any similar attempts, and waited 
with patience till the enemy should come to battle 
as they had engaged. Bat the English leaders 
were slow to take the field, and resolved rather to 
drive Wallace from the country by lainine, than to 
attempt to overpower him in fi^ht. They in con- 
sequence made proclamation in the king's name, 
that no one should brinsr provisions tor sale as loner 
as the Scots remained in the land, to any of the 
public markets, but that every kind of food should 
hf> kept as far as possible in concealment, so that 
the Scots, finding no means of support, misjht be 
obliged to decamp into their own country. 

Wallace remained still in his position, waiting to 
be challenged or attacked, for five days beyond 
the stipulated number, but saw no appearance of 


an advance against him. He then unfurled his 
banner, ridiculed the coolness of the English, and 
marching into other parts of Yorkshire, burned 
Northallerton, laid waste the land, and put to 
death all that ventured to resist him. All eccle- 
siastical edifices, and their people, he spared, but 
required from the abbeys supplies of provisions. 

At length he proceeded to besiege York, a city 
strongly fortified and garrisoned. Dividing his 
forces into four bodies, he prepared to assail it on 
all sides, and kept strict watch to prevent all 
ingress or egress. Wallace and Lundy took post 
at the south gate ; Earl Malcolm and Boyd at the 
west ; Campbell and Ramsay at the north ; Sir 
John Grahame, Auchinleck, and Crawford, at the 
east. The Scots had a thousand archers among 
them, but in the city were five times as many, and 
a large number of other troops. The besieged 
made a vigorous defence, hurling lighted wood 
and hot stones, and inflicting other grievous an- 
noyances, on the assailants, and, though they killed 
but few of them, wounded a great number. 

At length Sir John Norton, and Sir William 
Leis, two energetic leaders of the English, deter- 
mined to make a sally on the Scots, at the head of 
two thousand men, during the night, hoping to 


take them by surprise. They issued forth as 
silently as possible, at the gate where Earl Mal- 
colm was stationed, but it chanced that Wallace, 
riding round to see that the sentinels were properly 
posted, perceived their approach, and by a blast of 
his horn, roused the Earl's men from their slum- 
bers. Wallace then joined the Earl at the head 
of his force, and both together encountered the 
charge of the enemy, doing great execution among 
them with their swords. The Scots manfully 
supported their leaders, and at last the English, 
foiled in their attempt, retreated into the city, 
leaving Sir John Norton, and several hundred of 
their countrymen, dead on the field. 

The siege continued, with various efforts on 
both sides, for several days. The Scots, however, 
began to be in great want of provisions, and, 
though they sent out foraging parties in all di- 
rections, found great difficulty in procuring enough 
to maintain themselves. But the besieged were in 
equal tribulation on another account, for they 
dreaded that by the persevering efforts of the 
Scots they should be at length compelled to sur- 
render. In this state of things, a deputation was 
sent from the town, with a flag of truce, desiring 
an audience of Wallace, who received them without 


hesitation, and asked them for what purpose they 

" The commander of York," said they, " seeing 
that the forces within and without the walls are so 
equally matched, and so little disposed to relax 
their efforts for attack or defence, desires to stay 
the eflusion of blood on both sides by putting an 
end to the siege. He holds the town for King 
Edward, and he thinks that he shall best consult 
the interests of his sovereign by sparing the lives 
of his soldiers, and inducing his enemies to quit 
his kingdom. For this reason, he proposes to pay 
you a sum of money, on condition that you will 
withdraw from the siege, and leave our town, 
during your stay in England, unmolested. ,, 

" For your gold,*" replied Wallace, " we have 
but little regard ; it was to fight that we remained 
in England. We would rather have a fair en- 
counter with the English army than all the gold 
that King Arthur found when he slew the giant 
on St. Michael's Moupt. Gold has its value, but 
honour is more precious than all the gold in King 
Edward's realm.'" 

He, however, called a council of war, and the 
result of their deliberations was that, as the cap- 
ture of York had not been their primary object, 


and as more inconvenience than profit might result 
from protracting the siege, it would be better to 
listen to the offer of the townsmen, the acceptance 
of which, since it was in truth a token of submis- 
sion, would be attended with no dishonour. But 
Wallace refused his assent to the proposal, unless 
the commander of York would hoist the Scottish 
standard on the wall on the morrow at eight 
o'clock, and suffer it to remain there till noon. 

With this answer the deputation returned to the 
commander, who agreed to the condition. Wal- 
lace then farther stipulated for supplies of pro- 
vision in addition to the gold, and these, with 
some hesitation, being furnished, and the money 
paid, the Scottish army withdrew from the walls 
after a stay before them of twenty days. 




At length, in order to stop the ravages of the 
Scots, the English council of administration des- 
patched three commissioners, Clifford, Beaumont, 
and Woodstock, to endeavour to arrange a truce 
with Wallace, until Edward should return from 
Flanders and act for himself. Wallace willingly 
gave them audience, but said that no arrangement 
could be made, unless the fortresses of Roxburgh 
and Berwick should be restored to Scotland, and 
such Scots of rank as were detained in England 
should be allowed to return. To these proposals 
the commissioners assented ; the fortresses were 
delivered up, and Sir Thomas Randolph, the Lord 
of Lorn, the Earl of Buchan, Comyn, and Soulis, 
were permitted to go back to their country. 

Sir Aymer de Vallence he wished to be given 
up to him as a prisoner, but he had fled to 
Picardy. Young Bruce he also desired to have, 


but he had been taken to Calais in the keeping of 
the Earl of Gloucester. Corspatrick returned and 
was well received. Several other noblemen, 
mostly young, were also released. The truce was 
signed at Northallerton. Wallace marched back, 
laden with spoil, by Bamburgh, and, encamping 
on Caram Muir. received the keys of Roxburgh 
and Berwick from the English. The command of 
Roxburgh he gave to Sir John Ramsay ; Berwick 
he committed to Orystall of Seyton. Corspatrick, 
on making full submission, was restored to the 
earldom of Dunbar, and put in possession of all his 

To the monks of Hexham, whose priory had 
been plundered by the Scots on their march into 
Yorkshire, Wallace granted a charter of protec- 
tion, signed by Murray and himself in the name of 
Baliol, prohibiting all Scotchmen from doing them 
the least mischief under penalty of death. 

During the absence of Wallace in England, 
Robert de Clifford, at the head of a considerable 
force, made an inroad into Scotland by Carlisle, 
with the object of plundering and devastating the 
country, but, just as Wallace was returning, he 
withdrew, after having burned a few villages, put 
about a hundred of the inhabitants to death, and 
taken a small number of prisoners. 




Wallace now made farther efforts to establish a 
settled order of things, and regular form of govern- 
ment, in the country. He went through various 
parts of the land, making laws for different places, 
and administering justice to the utmost of his 
power. He made a sojourn of some days in the 
Lennox, where Sir John Menteith had a com- 
mand ; a man with whom he had twice before been 
closely connected, but whom he saw sufficient rea- 
son to distrust. 

At Dumbarton he stayed two months, and laid 
the foundation of a citadel, leaving directions that 
it should be raised to a proper height. At Rox- 
burgh, too, he built a strong tower. The state of 
things throughout the country promised well, 
and men began to look forward to ease and en- 


He sent Grimsby twice to the father of Robert 
Bruce, who then lived at Huntingdon, soliciting 
hira to come and take the government of the king- 
dom ; but the influence of the English was too 
great to allow him to comply with Wallace's 

In the early part of this year, 1298, he received a 
commission from Baliol appointing him sole Guar- 
dian or Regent of the kingdom ; a deed which Baliol 
executed privately during his residence in the 
Tower of London, as he could easily do, since he 
enjoyed much liberty there, and was allowed to 
ride into the country in any direction to a distance 
of not more than twenty miles. In this character 
Wallace held a council at Torphichen in West 
Lothian, towards the end of the month of March, 
when he conferred on Alexander Scrymgeour, in 
the name and with the seal of Baliol, the office of 
Constable of Dundee, with a portion of land near 
that town, as a reward for his services in bearing 
the Royal Standard in the Scotch army. 

The authority conferred on Wallace by this 
commission excited much jealousy towards him 
among many of the barons, who were displeased 
that a man of birth inferior to nobility, however 
meritorious, should be the recipient of such powers. 


Sir Andrew Murray, who had been joined with 
him in command of the army, appears to have felt 
no discontent, but many others took great offence. 
He was, however, promised cordial support and 
assistance in the government by Sir John Stewart 
of Bonkill, Sir John Stewart of Abercorn, Mac- 
duff, uncle to the Earl of Fife, and John Comyn 
the vounger of Badenoch. 

At this time Philip, King of France, hearing of 
Wallace's warlike abilities and private virtues, his 
honour, patriotism, and generosity, felt a strong 
desire for a personal interview with him, and sent 
a herald to congratulate him on his successful in- 
vasion of England, and invite him to visit France. 
He could not but wonder that so young a man, 
with such moderate advantages of birth and for- 
tune, should have been able, by his personal 
prowess, and natural aptitude for command, to 
raise himself to the position of a ruler over his 
country, and to enable himself to set at defiance 
the whole power of England. 

The herald, arriving in Scotland with the king's 
letter, found Wallace, surrounded with his friends, 
at Ayr, and, having delivered his credentials, 
assured him that his master, moved by the noble- 
ness of Wallace's character, and the great fame of 



his exploits, was eager to make him welcome in 
France, to pay him as high consideration and 
honour as if he had been born to the most illus- 
trious title among the French nobility, and to 
establish a bond of friendship between them which, 
he trusted, would continue unbroken to the end of 
their lives. 

Wallace listened to the herald with pleasure, 
entertained him hospitably, and bestowed on him 
valuable presents ; and, at his departure, charged 
him with an answer to the king, saying that he 
greatly valued the honour which he had done him, 
and that he would not fail,* as soon as the con- 
dition of Scotland should allow him, to comply 
with his invitation. 




It was not the intention of Edward to leave 
Scotland in this state of comparative repose. 
Having concluded a truce with France, he ordered 
John de Vallence, a son of the Earl of Pembroke, 
who had gained his confidence and esteem by the 
abilities and discretion which he had displayed in 
the operations in Flanders, to set sail, in company 
with Sir John Siward, son of him who had be- 
trayed Dunbar to the English, for the coast of 
Scotland, and, landing in Fifeshire, to prepare the 
way for the greater invasion which he himself 
designed to make on his return from France. 
These two leaders, after being retarded by various 
occurrences, effected a descent, about the beginning 
of summer, on that part of the Scottish coast to 
which they had been directed, and proceeded, at 

M 2 

-.!.*► ir-3.1 )f i i>is» .r-r^a.^ Trr-e-. 'if at" insse die 

"V »« .-*t* j.- ^m r.rr irura »f ~iirir urnm-je- -nan 
.i»- -r Vt.-:1 & -n:-il ■- -* T ' »f T r - n .'*. md laureled. 
.rs?o 7 :V» "i« ~e?* :'v r nm^-ii "f^*t ""tir*" ~r^r^ i mntr 

*;i^ vi*nr;-7 'li»* Zn,z::yii iffle id. md ~iie 5*-»t» 
r'mii.d -:ut.-~:"-s *■ nit-rrur ~o :nem in nmnber 
"Jiar "lit*- ir— rane ki^nirL i.r nirtr ^a^rr. Cieir 
Wr in ^ie if ir r ««*e-iiir'» t^s ro in nun miv-uirs 
:roni P^r-.L. :»»r T ; i:t*a }fu->»»e diey *v«»uid ]xtkv*± ^a 
*rni ii»n«* :iie F -m >f F ir^n. but die mad» ami 
•,ae »oa*rt w.±r* *) jriaried by die Fng f l:rii dmc 
**ipv jliiunL x lmo#w»i»ue ^i -aTeer diac jbieec Li 
-a ;a li;fi»!:ilrr. Wuliu»e 'oiUHiired ^rehire, a. man 
•jr-r'I i*!.i maimed wirii die •stiuncnr. and otnera. 
wiiac w ig iest :*i be dune. 

*'*■ W.* ar± lik^iT to be beaet bv am* enemies."* 
«3tid ne ; ** ant ^rai.z»}ir)»ia S»:ota. wio act as gni«iea^ 
en&oie -hem &v ran^e dirjii^a une kind with, ease., 
zcA to <ienr. ir a time, our smaller ibcce.~ 

iv We m.iat depend it arrears- on ourselves."* 
replied Gutarie. ~ To think ot sending over the 
frith is iilie ; tor I was ban Lately on the shore, 
and knew that no Siotdi vessel it* left there in a 
condition fo." *ailiii^:-*' 


" I would venture myself in disguise," returned 
Wallace, " for I could swim across at some point ; 
but I think that I shall better consult my own 
safety and yours by remaining here and acting at 
your head. Our position here is strong, and, with 
courage and skill, we shall make a successful stand 
in it. In Elcho Park, we were but a small band 
against seven hundred, but we repulsed our foes 
with abundance of slaughter." 

These and other words of encouragement in- 
spired his followers with such boldness that they 
were eager to issue from the wood and offer their 
enemies battle in the plain. But Wallace admo- 
nished them that the trees were their best defences, 
and directed them to form a square inclosure of 
felled trees interwoven with those that were grow- 
ing. By the time this wQrk was finished, Siward 
approached, intending to pass, under the conduct 
of his guides, through that portion of the wood. 
He led forward a thousand men under his own 
command, and ordered Vallence to go round the 
skirts of the wood with five hundred. Finding 
himself stopped by Wallace's timber fortress, he 
attempted to force it, but Wallace, whose men 
were well armed with spears and bows, repulsed 
them with vigour and success, wounding and 


killing many. The English stood amazed at the 
prowess that had heen exerted against them ; and 
Si ward, fearfhl for the safety of his men, consulted 
Vallence as to what was best to be done. Yal- 
lence advised him to do nothing farther for the 
present, but to wait till want of provisions should 
compel the Scots to issue forth from their strong- 
hold, and then to overwhelm them with resistless 
numbers. But Siward refused to listen to this 
suggestion, observing that the Scots might be 
reinforced before they were starved. He therefore 
led a portion of his force to assail the rear of the 
enemy, and ordered Vallence to keep post with the 
rest in front. 

Wallace, perceiving the movement, led forth a 
part of his men to intercept Siward's progress. 
" Siward," said he, " is, I perceive, a skilful and 
brave warrior, and it is pleasing to see a chieftain 
exhibit such chieftain-like qualities. His onset 
will be formidable, for his example must give cou- 
rage and energy to his followers. Stand firm, 
therefore, and resist with determination." 

The Scots awaited the advance of their foes 
behind a turf wall, and the English hesitated to 
assail their position. But at length a sharp en- 
counter commenced, in which Wallace and Craw- 


ford overthrew many of their assailants, and were 
well seconded by Guthrie and Richard Wallace. 
Siward was amazed at the resistance of so few 
against his own superiority of numbers, and, press- 
ing forward, killed one of the Scots with his own 
hand. Wallace tried to come hand to hand with 
him, but the English crowded so thickly between 
them, that all his attempts for that purpose were 
rendered vain. Many others, however, felt the 
weight of Wallace^ sword, and the whole of 
Siward's party were at length so disheartened, 
that the signal for retreat was given. The loss on 
the side of the English was great ; on that of the 
Scots but small. Wallace again acknowledged the 
valour of his adversary, and said that he had 
seldom seen braver efforts made. 

The weather was hot, and as the wounded Scots 
were dying of thirst, Wallace himself, unclasping 
the helmet of a dead Englishman, assisted in 
bringing them water from a neighbouring stream, 
declaring that he had more pleasure in seeing the 
delight with which they drank, than in drinking 
the richest wines he had ever tasted. 

Siward withdrew to Cupar, to obtain succour, 
and returned the next morning with three hundred 
fresh men. But by this time intelligence had been 


conveyed, by whatever means, to Ramsay and 
Buthven at Perth, of the peril in which Wallace 
was placed ; and they also hastened to Blackiron- 
side with a reinforcement equal in number to that 
of Si ward. The English leader, seeing their ad- 
vance, drew out his force, numbering nearly twelve 
hundred men, upon an adjacent plain; Wallace 
issued from the wood to join Ramsay and Ruthven, 
and their parties, when united, amounted to nearly 
seven hundred. No braver men than those of 
Siward had come to battle with the Scots in the 
present war. The encounter that ensued was fierce 
and sanguine ; the Scots rushed on the enemy 
with desperate fury, and did great execution with 
their spears and swords. The English defended 
themselves with steady resolution, and the strife 
was protracted for a long time. Ramsay and 
Ruthven, with their fresh men, exerted themselves 
with great success ; and Siward at length began 
to see that he must be overpowered. Yet he ral- 
lied his men time after time, and fought on with 
the utmost gallantry. Ramsay would have had 
Wallace offer him quarter, but before the offer 
could be made, Siward struck down Bisset, a 
worthy supporter of Wallace, and proceeded, with- 
out stay, to attack Wallace himself, who, in self- 


defence, was obliged to engage him in a hand to 
hand combat, the result of which was Siward's 
death. The greater part of his troops were cut 
to pieces. 

Ramsay returned to Perth. Euthven went off 
to attack Cupar Castle, which he speedily took, 
as the defenders were few. Having dismantled 
the place, Wallace proceeded to St. Andrews, from 
whence he expelled the English bishop ; and the 
few English that were with him fled away by sea. 
Thus Fife was entirely cleared of the invaders. 





Some of them were left, however, in a collection 
of buildings, one of them a priory, which stood on 
the largest island of the water of Lochleven, an 
island consisting of about forty- eight acres, but on 
which as yet no castle had been built, for it was 
thought to be sufficiently guarded by the surround- 
ing water. Wallace saw the importance of wrest- 
ing this stronghold from the enemy ; " For," said 
he to his followers, " if the English send rein- 
forcements to the garrison already there, and 
strengthen the island with additional fortifications, 
they may maintain their position in it for a 
great length of time, and, sallying forth as oppor- 
tunity offers, may do the country much damage. 
We cannot cut off their supply of water, and if 
they but lay in large stores of provisions, they may 
defy us for weeks, or for months, to starve them 
into submission/' 


Having accordingly determined to assail the 
place, he led a party of men in the evening to the 
shores of the lake, and, telling them to wait till he 
should bring them a boat from the island, took off 
his armour, but fastened his sword to his neck in 
case of being attacked, and swam to the other side 
of the water, where finding the boats unguarded, he 
easily seized on one of them, and rowed back in it. 
Then, resuming his armour, and conveying his 
men over in parties, he took the place by surprise, 
put the men in it to the sword, and made prey of 
whatever valuables they found. 

Notice of the capture of Lochleven was sent to 
Ramsay, who soon joined Wallace, and they rested 
together there for eight days, .ordering things on 
the island, and adding to its defences. 

At the end of that time, leaving a sufficient gar- 
rison in the place, Wallace went over to Perth, 
where he was met by Bishop Sinclair, who advised 
him to fix his residence for awhile in Dunkeld, 
and in order to be prepared for the meditated 
invasion of the English, to send messengers from 
thence to his friends in the north and west, desiring 
them to keep as many men as possible in readiness 
to join him. Grimsby was accordingly despatched 
to the north, and John Blair the priest, who had 


been made Wallace's chaplain, to the west. Adam 
Wallace of Riccartoun, and Lindsay of Craigie, 
went to Earl Malcolm in the Lennox, who received 
them with his wonted cordiality. Sir John Gra- 
hame, Richard of Lundy, and Robert Boyd, who 
had been in Bute, continued with Wallace, for 
whose safety they were eminently solicitous. Ran- 
dall, also, with men from Moray, came to join 
him, and Stephen of Ireland, and Ker. Comyn, 
Earl of Buchan, he heard, was preparing to sup- 
port the English, and hoping to prevail on Cors- 
patrick to take part with him ; but the reports 
brought by Grimsby, Blair, and others, from his 
supporters, were so encouraging, that he thought 
but lightly of the efforts of his adversaries. 

He then visited Perth, and, proceeding from 
thence through the Ochil Hills, and by Airth 
Castle, went westward to Dumbarton, where, 
during a short stay, he heard of the recent death 
of his mother, who had expired at the A bbey of 
Dumfermline. He was much affected at the intel- 
ligence, but observed that it was better for her to 
die then, with her old age undisturbed, than to 
live to witness another devastation of her country 
by the English. He saw due honour paid to her 
remains, and caused the funeral ceremony to be 
performed by Blair. 



sir william douglas at sanquhar castle. 
Wallace's further proceedings. 

The Castle of Sanquhar, in Dumfriesshire, was 
still held by an English garrison under the com- 
mand of a knight named Beaufort, a relative of 
the wife of Sir William Douglas of Douglasdale, 
who, from much intercourse with the English, and 
under the influence of King Edward, had married 
a lady of a high English family, and had become 
the father of two sons by her, but who, on taking 
his boys to Paris for education, had been detained 
by Edward in France, and forced, by some kind of 
intimidation, to profess allegiance to him. King 
Edward hoped that Sir William, through his 
matrimonial connexion, would be a steadfast friend 
to the English cause ; but the event proved other- 
wise ; for Douglas never forgot that he was a Scot, 
and when he saw that Wallace was likely to suc- 
ceed in restoring the independence of his country, 
became desirous to afford him the utmost possible 


assistance, thinking it no disgrace to desert the 
English side, as he had attached himself to it only 
through compulsion. 

His first attempt was made on the castle held 
by Beaufort, who, from his relationship to Douglas, 
apprehended no hostility from him. Taking with 
him only thirty followers, he set out secretly, tell- 
ing his wife and household that he was going on 
an appointment to Dumfries, and posted himself, 
as night came on, in a hollow on the banks of the 
Craw, a small river running into the Nith. From 
thence he sent forward one of his retainers, Thomas 
Dickson, to the neighbourhood of the castle, where 
he had a cousin named Anderson, with whom he 
held a secret understanding, and who agreed to 
procure him a horse and cart, and to lend him his 
clothes for a disguise, that he might present him- 
self at the gates in the morning with a load of 
wood. This arrangement Dickson communicated 
to Sir William, who drew still nearer to the castle, 
and kept himself in readiness for action at sunrise. 
As soon as day dawned, Dickson appeared at the 
gate with the wood, and not without a scolding 
from the porter for awaking him so early, was 
allowed to enter. Just after he had passed through, 
he cut the cords of the wood with his knife, and 
the whole load fell to the ground, blocking up the 


gate so as to prevent it from being closed. He 
then despatched the porter with his dagger, and 
seizing an axe which hung near, and which Ander- 
son had directed him where to find, he stood pre- 
pared to assist Sir William, who now pressed 
forward with his party. The whole garrison were 
surprised and confounded ; Sir William himself, 
running up a stair, found Beaufort in his chamber, 
and put him to the sword ; and his followers soon 
slew all the English except one. 

The man that escaped fled to Durisdeer, a 
stronghold at no great distance, where there was a 
more numerous party of English, to whom he 
communicated what had occurred, and who accord- 
ingly prepared to besiege Sir William in Sanquhar 
Castle. Sir William sent off Dickson, with intel- 
ligence of his position, to Wallace, who was then 
at Lochleven, and had been joined by Earl Mal- 
colm. At the approach of the two leaders, the 
English fled with precipitation towards their own 

Wallace had now expelled the invaders from 
the whole of Scotland except Dundee, which an 
English captain, named Morton, still held. He 
appointed Sir William Douglas governor of all 
the tract of country to the west of the line con- 
necting Ayr with Dumfries. 




Wallace had no intention to leave Dundee in 
the hands of the English. He made vigorous 
preparations for a siege ; and Morton, fearing the 
result, sent a messenger to Wallace offering to 
leave the country if no harm should be done to 
him and his men. To this Wallace would not 
consent, but said they must surrender themselves 
prisoners of war. As Morton refused, Wallace 
determined on prosecuting the siege, and com- 
mitted the conduct of it to Sir Alexander Scrym- 

But Edward was now hurrying home from 
France, with a resolution to march into Scotland 
with a force to which resistance should be useless. 
He accordingly made a truce with the French 


King, arranged political affairs with his nobles 
and burgesses, and adopted every means for as- 
sembling a vast army. He saw that Wallace was 
the great cause of the Scots' opposition to his 
power, and was determined to convince him that 
no rising against England would ever be of any 

Wallace, leaving Scrymgeour with two thousand 
men, to blockade Dundee, marched himself, with 
eight thousand, to Perth, where he stayed, to 
settle some matters of business, for four days, and 
then proceeded southwards, having heard that ten 
thousand English, under the command of the 
younger Woodstock, a man of great valour, had 
penetrated into the country, by the direction of 
King Edward, as far as Stirling. 

The object of Woodstock, in marching in this 
direction, was to relieve Dundee ; for which pur- 
pose also ships were sent from England to the 
Firth of Tay. His guides recommended him to 
advance by Perth, from whence he would find the 
way to Dundee a matter of no difficulty. He was 
accordingly proceeding thither, when he received 
intelligence of the approach of the Scottish army, 
which he resolved at first, by keeping on the 
heights as much as possible, to avoid ; but when 

2.:*; »T2 TZ-LZ-LjL Till. 

k * f -. . *. 1 :I~« :L-ir :•. :*•* w 
tczr. h_* o*»"^ L* al:cn*ii his •irCcrr 

.Sir J ,hn Rin^aj wi» the £r?t t«> see them 
tou.'.r.j. and wva in d:i\* w^rth-r they were the 
Ya.'S/xAu or a l«>Iy of Sxts ajprtaehiE* to join 
Wallas. Wallace L infill k>wever. easily dis- 
f.t'TTi'A whit they were, a^d cheerfully drew up 
hi* army, amount in? to ei^ht thousand men, on 
SherifF-Mu!r. The English were well armed in 
steel, and not at all slow to commence the en- 
counter. The spears of the Scots were splintered 
against the English coats of mail, but they soon 
triage a passage for themselves through their 
enemies with their swords. The contest was pro- 
tracted, with much bloodshed, for a considerable 
time; but the English were at length totally 
defeated. Woodstock was slain, and his army 
hopelessly scattered, and a vast quantity of valu- 
able spoil fell into the possession of the Scots. 

Wallace then marched to Stirling, where he 
broko down the bridge, and ordered sharpened 
piles of wood to be fixed in the ford, to render it 
impassable. He also sent directions to Lauder, 
who held the Bass, to destroy any ships that he 
found on the coast belonging to the English, and 


to prevent Scottish vessels, as far as possible, from 
being used by the enemy in case of flight. These 
precautions being taken, Lauder and Seyton then 
came to join Wallace, who resolved on remaining 
at Stirling, with Earl Malcolm and Sir John 
Grahaine, till he should ascertain how the English 
were likely to proceed. 




Intelligence soon reached him of the progress 
of King Ed ward. He had entered Scotland by 
the eastern frontiers, with an army consisting of 
Hovon thousand cavalry and eighty thousand in- 
fantry, and, having afterwards received reinforce- 
ments, was now at the head of nearly a hundred 
thousand men, many of whom were veterans that 
had nerved under him in France. To meet such a 
for™* in the open field, with the small body then 
un<l*r his command, Wallace saw would be useless; 
and he, therefore, had recourse to the policy of 
withdrawing the inhabitants, with their cattle aad 
j/*m*ions, fr om that part of the country which lay 
fcrfw? the approaching enemy, in order tliat by 


thus inconveniencing them, and consequently re- 
tarding their progress, he might gain time to 
collect his forces. He also took great care to keep 
advanced posts in front of his own army, and to 
prevent the English scouts from making any satis- 
factory discoveries as to the strength or intentions 
of their adversaries. 

A fleet which had been ordered to attend on the 
English army with supplies was detained by con- 
trary winds. The king was, in consequence, 
obliged to wait for its coming, and halted at Tor- 
phichen, in Linlithgowshire, fixing his head quar- 
ters in a preceptory of the Knights Templars, and 
arranging his army so as to maintain a communi- 
cation with the sea. But as only a few of the 
vessels came in while he remained there, he found 
the scarcity in his camp increase to such a degree, 
that he was under the necessity of determining on 
a retreat. 

Wallace, who had exact information of King 
Edward's movements, formed the intention of sur- 
prising the enemy in the night, and afterwards 
hanging upon their rear, and harassing them as 
they retreated. But some traitor in his army 
found means to communicate his plans to the 
English, and Edward, whose stores were not yet 


quite exhausted, resolved to return and attack the 
Scots instead of waiting for their advance. 

The Scots, however, had now had time to collect 
all their strength ; and though their numbers did 
not exceed thirty thousand, not a third part of the 
army opposed to them, they were yet in hopes, by 
delaying to come to a pitched battle, and alluring 
the enemy farther into the north, of being able to 
secure such advantages as would disappoint the 
purposes of the English monarch, and compel him 
ultimately to withdraw his host from the country, 
of which he might ravage the territories without 
conquering the inhabitants. 

But discord, the curse of all Scottish military 
operations, was now interposing its influence be- 
tween Wallace and some of those who had affected 
to support him. Wallace had been joined by Sir 
John Stewart, brother to the Earl of Bute, who 
brought with him not only his own dependents, 
but those of his absent brother, and by Sir John 
Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, chief of the clan of 
Oomyn ; and each of these powerful leaders, either 
on his own account or that of his connexions, 
claimed a right to the command of about ten 
thousand men ; so that the Scottish force would 
be nearly equally divided among them and Wal- 


lace. But Wallace, as having authority from 
Baliol, and as having purchased a title to com- 
mand by his eminent services, considered it no 
presumption to take on himself the superiority 
over the other two, and accordingly proceeded to 
regulate the disposal of the whole army. This 
assumption, however, the other two refused to 
allow; nor could they determine between them- 
selves which of them was the better entitled to the 
superiority over the other; for Stewart claimed 
the rule as representative of his brother, the Lord 
High Steward of Scotland, and Comyn demanded 
it on account of nobility of birth, and near con- 
nexion with the crown. The dispute grew vehe- 
ment, and was long protracted. Stewart at last 
burst into invective against Wallace, and, upbraid- 
ing him with the humility of his birth, said that 
he could tell him a tale. 

" Tell me what you please," said Wallace. 

" There was once an owl," retorted Stewart, 
"that was dissatisfied with his feathers, and 
Nature, to whom he complained, gave him a 
feather from one bird, and a feather from another, 
till his plumage was totally changed, and he 
thought himself entitled to set all other birds at 
nought. Thus it is with you ; you are formidable 


only with other men's strength ; for if every man 
of rank that follows you were to withdraw his re- 
tainers from your retinue, the number left you 
would be but small." 

Wallace could not hear this reproach without 
indignation. " You have not justly compared me 
to an owl," said he, "for an owl flies from the 
light of day, but I have acted openly and sincerely 
in the face of all men, maintaining the rights and 
independence of Scotland against her enemies. 
You might better compare yourself, and some of 
your fellow nobles, to owls, for you have often 
sought concealment, and engaged in clandestine 
proceedings, hiding your acts from your country- 
men, and carrying on secret treaties with her 
enemies. But as loner as I hold the commission 


which has been granted me, I shall not yield the 
precedence to either of you ; I shall maintain that 
rank which has been assigned me, until my king 
deprives me of it, or comes himself to assume the 
command of his own army." 

As the others made no advances towards recon- 
ciliation, Wallace at last said that he would leave 
them to fight each for himself in his own way, and 
withdrew the troops immediately under his com- 
mand, to the number of something more than ten 


thousand, into a wood to the eastward of Fal- 

The English army advanced in three divisions, 
one under the command of Henry de Lacy, Earl 
of Lincoln, and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of 
Hereford, and Constable of England ; the second 
under that of Bishop Beck, whose warlike pride 
was displayed in the magnificence of his banners ; 
and the third under that of King Edward himself, 
whose standards outshone in gorgeousness those of 
the Bishop. All the English host was nobly 
equipped, and their hearts were not less fitted for 
war than their accoutrements. 

Edward ordered the division under the Earls of 
Hereford and Lincoln to march upon the division 
of the Scots under Comyn. But Comyn, who had 
become still more irritated against Stewart, and 
had also received a secret communication from the 
English king, withdrew, after the example of Wal- 
lace, from the field, leaving Stewart and his divi- 
sion unsupported ; against whom, accordingly, the 
two English Earls at once directed the whole 
weight of their charge. At this retrograde move- 
ment of Comyn the whole army could not but be 
somewhat dispirited ; but Stewart and his men re- 
ceived the English onset with the utmost intre- 


r*M» 5'Ii w: :.: \w WALLACE. 

;i..u*^ ^lI ev^»r r«^ ul-^d their assailants. Wal- 
j*:--. •>♦•.. .~ : j rywxr"? vul«»ur, h«4d up his hands 
.1 Uvl:: r^.:..L .»: .t. and observed that, but for his 
.»;*»uru :»-» ^mr: ::« l i: ai.d concert, he would have 
»— n m. — . v • • - uih^ilJ ihe whole army. " How- 
.... . r - ^ <^ u It L:r^— li k *th^y will soon return 
: . r -.:i r:. f— L tom^s. and another assault 

Hi- TT-aini.»L was soon fulfilled, for Bishop 

H*-rk ami Loi»rrt Bruce were already advancing, 

u>n. ii portion of Back's division, to crush Stewart 

\ ,tt. a >t*roud charge. Wallace long hesitated, 

;«. »1 hj'iJ debate with himself, whether he should 

ir.a.?vi. ;» the aid of Stewart and his countrymen, 

«»r s:i" keep aloof ; but though he pitied the fate 

«»:* x-oriuni thus a prey to dissension, he could 

rot forget the insult that he had so recently re- 

«v;v»h1 or art in concert with the man that had 

nuerod it. Stewart's men nobly supported their 

leader, and no retreat was made on their part until 

Stewart himself was slain, and the greater number 

,%r his followers cut to pieces. Wallace and Sir 

John tirahame witnessed his end with sorrow and 


w necessary for Wallace and his 
vhat measures they should adopt 


for their own safety, for, if they kept their position, 
the victorious English would soon be upon them 
with their whole power. One eligible course only, 
indeed, was open to them ; ' they must betake 
themselves to the nearest place of strength, which 
was the Torwood, and for this purpose they must 
cut a passage through the forces of Beck and 
Bruce. There was no time for hesitation ; Wal- 
lace led the charge with his usual impetuosity, and 
his men seconded his efforts with such spirit that 
numbers of Beckys troops were slain, and a clear 
way made through them, before either Beck him- 
self or his sovereign could make a movement to 
check Wallace^ progress, or even understand 
what was his object. Wallace sped forward his 
men to the Torwood, and took post near the rear, 
with Sir John Grahame and Lauder, till they 
were all clear of the English troops. At last 
Bruce rallied a body of his followers, and, pressing 
forward with great eagerness, came in contact with 
Wallace himself, whom he hotly charged, and 
wounded in the throat with the point of his spear. 
Wallace, knowing his superiority in strength to 
Bruce, was unwilling to kill one of the royal 
family, and contented himself with withdrawing to 
a distance, and quietly staunching the blood. 






■ iien ; but his horse was pierced by the 
i lances, and the animal and himself fell 

.ace's grief, when he saw that the man who 
> long been his dearest friend, and had 
* by his side in so many deadly struggles, 
ased to liye, was almost beyond conception. 
. -mid have retired to mourn, but the necessity 
tending himself against the enemies that 
..ged around, allowed him no opportunity. 
was obliged to let sorrow give place to rage, 
, turning his fury on his opponents, like a wild 
I that has no reason, he slew all that he en- 
aitered, and made great room around him. 
.iong those that he slew in this struggle was 
.r Brian Le Jay, a Knight Templar of great 
ilitary reputation, who had been one of his most 
iolent assailants. Bruce ordered his men to kill 
♦Vallace's horse, as they had killed Grahame's, 
vvith their spears ; and they succeeded indeed in 
wounding him ; but Wallace, seeing their inten- 
tion, drew off, while sufficient strength was yet 
left in the animal, to the bank of the river Carron. 
Desiring his men to keep together, and swim 
boldly across, he remained himself to guard the 
passage till they were all over, and then swam 


after them, when his horse fell dead on the oppo- 
site bank. Ker, who had strenuously supported 
him in the combat, brought him another steed, 
and enabled him speedily to rejoin his troops. 

Besides Sir John Grahame, Wallace lost, on 
this occasion, fifteen of his distinguished comrades 
in arms. A vast number of the English were 
slain, and King Edward, though he gained the 
day by superiority of force, yet, when he reckoned 
how many men he had lost in the contest with 
Stewart, and how many in that with Wallace, 
could hardly think himself entitled to much honour 
for his victory. 




After Wallace's men had passed on to the 
Torwood, and all the din of arms had subsided on 
both sides for the night, Wallace himself, accom- 
panied by Ker, was straying along the north bank 
of the Carron in the twilight, when he perceived 
on the other side of the stream a figure apparently 
watching them. Thinking that mischief might be 
intended, he called out to know who was there, and 
found that the voice in which the answer was re- 
turned was the voice of Robert Bruce. 

" Thou hast met me in battle to-day/' cried 
Wallace to him ; u I would now fain meet thee in 
conference. The English, whom thou supportest, 
have nearly ruined our wretched country. Why 
wilt thou still act with her enemies ? I was un- 
willing to fight thee ; let me speak with thee on 
the unhappy condition of our land.'" 


That part of the English army, in which Brace 
had held his command, had gone forward with 
Bishop Beck, and Brace had happened to linger 
behind, in a melancholy mood, to meditate on the 
events of the day. 

"I know thy voice," replied Brace, "as thou 
appearest to know mine. I am willing to hear 
what thou hast to say ; and first 1 would ask thee 
why thou still continuest to agitate the country 
with war, when thou mightest be at peace with 
King Edward, and leave Scotland in rest and 
tranquillity! What is thy object? Wouldst 
thou make thyself a king over thy countrymen ?" 

" Nay," replied Wallace ; " thou doest me the 
greatest wrong in merely asking me the question. 
What cause have I given that such a suspicion 
should be conceived against me ? I have sought 
but to deliver my country from tyranny, and to 
establish her independence. I have acted under 
the commission of Baliol, who will not come to 
act for himself. If Baliol be set aside as incapable 
of governing, I am ready to act under thee, as I 
consider thy title to the throne to be not less 
valid than his. Wouldst thou come to the support 
of thy people, instead of working their destruction, 
how much better a state of things might we soon 


produce ! How many Scots have fallen in battle 
to-day, that might, if all had gone well with our 
country, have been now alive and in comfort ! " 

" Wilt thou listen to my advice," asked Bruce, 
" and do as I would have thee?" 

" Not whilst thou doest as thou art now doing," 
rejoined Wallace. " Thou servest under King 
Edward, and wouldst have me, I fear, follow thy 
example ; but I would rather die this moment. But 
if I might give thee advice, I would say that if thou 
wouldst quit King Edward, thou mightst either live 
as a nobleman respected in thy own country, or, 
by the aid of thy faithful well-wishers, establish 
thyself as a sovereign. Were I desirous to secure 
the crown for myself, it is possible that I might, 
with the influence which I have obtained among 
the people, accomplish that object ; but I have no 
wish either for such a burden or such an honour. 
Heaven knows that I have raised war only to 
maintain that independence of my country which 
thou strivest to undo. It might well be said of 
thee that thou wast born in an unhappy day 
for Scotland. Dost thou feel no shame that thou 
hast as yet done thy country no good, but, like 
a traitor, hast leagued with her enemies to work 
her ruin ? Thou hast been to us but as a heathen 



and a Pagan, and deservest death at our hands 
more than any Saracen or other infidel." 

Bruce was touched with Wallace's warmth, but 
said, " Words are vain ; thou art too strongly 
beset with the English power to have any hope 
of resisting it, either in concert with me, or by 
thy own unaided efforts." 

" Nay," rejoined Wallace, " be not so sure of 
our inability. If we but collect our forces, those 
which remain of Stewards, and those which are 
still under Comyn, we shall not be fewer in pro- 
portion to King Edwards army than we were to 
the English at Biggar, when they saw many of 
their number fall under our swords, and yielded 
us a complete victory. Despair not of the spirit 
of thy countrymen ; show us the enemy, and we 
will fight them, though they be three to one. It 
is not strength or valour that Scotland wants, 
but concord; were she but as united as she is 
courageous, she might still successfully assert her 
independence. For myself, I cannot desert her 
in her peril, but must continue to do what I can 
to support her cause." 

"It is but inconvenient talking here, across 
this stream," returned Bruce, "but I would fain 
consult with thee further, in some place where 


we may converse more at ease. Wilt thou meet 
me to-morrow morning at the chapel near Duni- 
pace, at nine o'clock?" 

" Nine o'clock/' replied Wallace, " will be too 
late an hour ; for I intend to be in preparation for 
the day's proceedings long before that time, but 
if you will engage to be there by three, I will 
meet you with the greatest pleasure." 

To this proposal a ready assent was expressed ; 
and Bruce with twelve followers, and Wallace 
with ten, held a secret conference at the chapel of 
Dunipace, when Wallace enforced the arguments 
which he had already used, and many others, with 
such success, that Bruce from that day never 
raised his sword against Scotland. 




Wallace had taken due care that the body of 
Sir John Grahame should be sought out from 
among the other dead ; and he now proceeded, on 
the termination of his interview with Bruce, to 
bestow on it the rites of sepulture. 

When he saw the corpse, he could not forbear 
falling on it, and kissing it, and saying, with tears 
and groans, " Thou wast indeed a brother to me. 
How can 1 sufficiently lament thy death ? Thou 
wast my friend when I was in need of friendship ; 
thou wast my pride, my delight, my constant 
support. In thee I beheld true valour, indepen- 
dence, and manliness; in thee I saw truth, honour, 
and nobility of mind. Thou couldst govern thy- 
self, and govern others ; thou wast firm, just, and 
kind. Though I began war with England, I 
should, but for thy encouragement and consolation, 


have scarcely had heart to continue it. My only 
comfort, in looking on thy dead body, is that 
thou hast died the noblest of deaths in defence of 
thy country." 

The remains of Sir John were deposited in the 
churchyard of Falkirk, where a tomb was after- 
wards erected to him, with an inscription, " Here 
lies Sir John Grahame, a man of strong mind and 
body, the faithful friend of William Wallace ; he 
was killed by the English, July 22, 1298." 

!i7> silt WfLLlAU '.VaULaCE. 



Notwithstanding that Edward had sained the 
victory at Falkirk, he was far from being in a 
condition to profit greatly by it. He was grie- 
vously in want of provisions for his men, and 
forage for his horses ; and numbers of the Scots, 
who, though defeated, were not subdued, were 
ready to harass him on the march, lay waste the 
country, and deprive him of all hope of obtaining 

In such operations Wallace was not inactive. 
On the day after the battle, he divided the troops 
which he had still with him into two bodies, one 
of which he entrusted to Earl Malcolm, with 
directions to march towards Linlithgow by In- 
veravon, while with the other he himself went 
round by Man well, his object being to surprise 


Edward's camp, of which Linlithgow was the head 
quarters. In the evening, Earl Malcolm pressed 
forward to the town, and commenced an attack on 
the English somewhat precipitately, before Wallace 
was ready to support him. The unprepared con- 
dition of the enemy, however, prevented any un- 
pleasant consequences to the Scots, who destroyed 
a vast portion of their tents and baggage, and put 
numbers of them to the sword. Wallace directed 
his movements chiefly on King Edward, who took 
excellent measures for defence ; but Wallace killed 
his banner man, and the King himself was obliged 
to effect a retreat from his quarters. 

The impression made by this and similar attacks 
on the English, in addition to the deficiency of 
provisions, was such, that Edward sought only 
a fair pretext for withdrawing from the country 
altogether. But first he determined to march in 
pursuit of the Scots with a numerous detachment 
of his army. His adversaries, however, eluded all 
his attempts, and, retiring before him, burned and 
ravaged the neighbourhood of Stirling, and rendered 
his position worse than it was before. He had no 
choice, therefore, but to withdraw, and, after many 
losses in his retreat from the assaults of the 
enemy, passed across the Solway into England. 

.e ._ . 




But great opposition was now rising against 
Wallace, and from quarters from whence he least 
deserved to experience it. Envy and jealousy 
were producing a state of things extremely un- 
favourable to him. Comyn, and the surviving 
followers of Stewart, expressed loud disapprobation 
of his conduct. Comyn, to palliate his own 
treacherous desertion of his countrymen, accused 
Wallace of designing to seize the crown, and 
declared that, even if the charge were groundless, 
it would be more honourable for men of birth 
to submit to a powerful foreign prince like Edward, 
than to take their orders from a Scotch upstart ; 
and the partisans of Stewart, forgetting the insult- 
ing words of their chief to Wallace, charged him 
with having capriciously occasioned the loss of 


the battle of Falkirk, by refraining from assisting 
Stewart till assistance was useless. Corny n, in 
the meantime, was still strengthening his party, 
and it appeared possible that, under pretence of 
supporting Edward, he might be desirous to estab- 
lish himself as a sovereign over his countrymen. 

Wallace, on his return from following Ed- 
ward, finding that such was the condition of 
affairs in the country, and seeing that unless he 
involved the kingdom in a civil war he would 
be unable to compel such powerful factions to 
postpone their own aims and feelings to the public 
good, resolved no longer to act as regent ; and, 
accordingly, called a council of the chief nobility 
at Perth, at which he formally stated that, with 
a view to the benefit and tranquillity of the 
country, he should discontinue, for the present, 
the exercise of that authority which Baliol had 
conferred upon him, and should desire, until better 
prospects should arise, to be considered only as 
a private individual, reserving to himself no other 
privilege than that of opposing the enemies of 
Scotland at the head of such true men as should 
be willing to adhere to him. His friends en- 
deavoured to dissuade him from this determina- 
tion, but were unable to succeed. " I was ap- 


pointed Regent," said he to them, " by him whom 
all loyal Scotsmen regard as their king; I en- 
deavoured to exercise ray powers so as to honour 
and profit him and his realm; I have passed 
through many perils and hardships, and have 
never spared myself in doing that which I con- 
sidered to be my duty. But for all my efforts, 
I was repaid at Falkirk only by insolence; and 
to such retorts I do not intend longer to expose 
myself. I, that have done so much to resist 
our enemies, should not have met with hostility 
from my own countrymen. If harm were intended 
me, I might have expected it, not surely from 
Scots, but from Englishmen. I now leave you free 
to adopt what course you please: may heaven 
grant you aid to defend and maintain your 

All his adherents heard his determination with 
sorrow, but could not alter it. Wallace withdrew; 
and the assembly, after long deliberation, thought 
the best thing that could be done, in the present 
condition of parties, was to elect a Regency, con- 
sisting of Comyn, Lord de Soulis, and Lamberton, 
Bishop of St. Andrews. 




Though Edward had personally withdrawn from 
Scotland, he had been able to leave a considerable 
portion of his forces to overawe that part of the 
Lowlands which lies nearest to England, and 
which he was resolved, at all hazards, to endea- 
vour to make his own. But the Scots, though 
they had suffered greatly from his invasion, were 
not so much impoverished or dispirited as they had 
often been in former years ; they had saved much 
of their cattle and other effects, from the enemy ; 
the courage with which Wallace had animated 
them was still unextinguished ; and though several 
of the chiefs had renewed their oaths of attach- 
ment to Edward, yet the disposition to sacrifice 
their independence was far from being general 


among them. The principal strongholds were in 
the occupation of the Scots ; and the almost im- 
pregnable fortress of Dumbarton had been en- 
trusted by Wallace to Sir John Menteith, a man 
who had assisted him in the burning of the 
barracks of Ayr, and in other enterprises of diffi- 
culty, and whose honour he as yet knew no reason 
to suspect. When Wallace conferred this com- 
mand on him, he agreed for the erection of a house 
for himself within the fortress, where he might 
hope to secure his own safety, in times of peril, 
or that of any of his relations. 

Edward sent large supplies of provisions, at 
the commencement of the winter, for the support 
of Stirling and other places that remained in his 
hands, but the activity of the Scots prevented 
many of these from reaching the parts for which 
they were destined, and the king saw that great 
efforts would be necessary to preserve his power 
in Scotland from gradual diminution and decay. 

In the following year, Baliol, after repeated 
applications to the Pope, from himself and his 
friends, to interfere with Edward on his behalf, 
was released by the King from captivity, and 
delivered over to the Pope's Nuncio, with per- 
mission to his Holiness to dispose of him as he 


should think proper. Edward consented to this 
measure in the hope that Baliol would be removed 
from Great Britain to the continent, and that, in 
his absence, some of the former claimants of the 
crown would urge anew their pretensions to it, 
and thus excite fresh distractions among the Scots; 
but in this expectation he was disappointed, for 
the regents, supported and encouraged by Wallace, 
exercised their government with vigour and in 
concert, and proceeded at length to lay siege to 
Stirling Castle, Edward^s chief stronghold in the 
country. The besieged were soon distressed, and 
obliged to apply to Edward for succours, who, 
knowing the importance of the place, resolved on 
relieving it, and, for that purpose, assembled an 
army at Berwick in the early part of November ; 
but many of his barons, complaining of his want 
of faith in regard to the English charters, and in 
the disposal of certain lands in Scotland, refused 
to attend him over the border, so that he was 
compelled to march for Stirling with only a 
portion of his army. When he had entered the 
country, he found the Scots too strong for the 
force which he had with him, and determined on 
returning, and allowing the garrison to make 
terms of surrender. The castle was accordingly 


soon after given up to Lord Soulis, who consigned 
the command of it to Sir William Oliphant. 

Corny n also exerted himself against the English, 
and gained some portion of popularity by his 
conduct ; and the three Regents, with many others 
of the nobility, resolved on sending ambassadors 
to France to ask assistance against the English ; 
and the ambassadors, if they should be unsuc- 
cessful with the French king, were directed to 
proceed to Rome, and solicit the influence of the 
Pope with Edward, to restrain him from farther 
aggressions on their unhappy country. 

>^ <i K WHI.UM W \LLACE. 

i . -;^ Win. 

~v>v <WY\ AND. SIEGE OF 
. >, m l>\ *'\YS A BULL FROM 

. ... v' 1 ' <i^rmined to re- 
v . »• -»» ; «»v s«vm as he should 

• "- '^ >'*~<vr<\J to conc l U( ie 

_ ... ^ -a^nly as possible, w i tll Ws 
;. , »w uot till spring in the year 1300 
w u a condition to call together his 
a t.uet at Carlisle on the 1st of the 
Jfe From thence it proceeded towards 
f^iir divisions, the first led by Henry 
of Lincoln, the second by John Earl 
Mid Surrey, the third by the King 
fourth by Prince Edward his 
appeared in the field for the first 

Aeration in which Edward was en- 

THE pope's bull. 289 

gaged was the siege of Caerlaverock, a strong castle 
about nine miles south of Dumfries, occupied by 
Herbert Maxwell, who f was chief of a powerful 
border clan, and who had refused to comply with a 
summons of Edward to surrender. Its shape was 
triangular, with a tower at each angle; it had good 
walls, and was surrounded with a ditch filled to 
the brim with water ; and it was well furnished 
with men, provisions, and military engines. Such 
being its strength, and such its defences, it is not 
surprising that the siege of it retarded the progress 
of Edward for several days. 

While the English army was encamped before 
the place, Winchelsea, the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, brought Edward a bull from the Pope. The 
ambassadors, who had gone for aid to the French 
King, having been unsuccessful, for the disturbed 
state of his own kingdom afforded him a fair pre- 
text for declining to assist others, had proceeded, 
according to their instructions, to complain to 
Pope Boniface at Rome, who, in the bull now deli- 
vered to Edward, admonished him to desist from 
attempting to subjugate a kingdom to which he 
could assert no lawful claim, as no King of Scot- 
land, on paying homage to an English sovereign, 
had paid it for his crown, but merely for the lands 



p.^ -- 

" T * ♦ " ~ • *X?**ri±T>_ 

..t " vr 

- . -z n ra 


' - "•/• .7 

.=! ".icH 

* ~4 i^f^^'i^r^ 

~ •-!. 

•"♦* . ~ 3 ^. 

.77ni -iinir^r: 



-^ vara ~ar^*u ^l«jl 


*- _rnn*.' 


icn : 

' :»-m ^ lev -s 


•-*: ar^ 

i zro • 

1li--WTlT IS T^T 


...»i .- 



mo -alH^jt T ~;ir r 5 

• •I 

'•♦:iiT..r. _' 


v • ^eria 

vAr^»?ic • t *ne 


'• •T.r,#*r. 

.j T imL2 

Lis ~ro?rr?^ 


' f ' f • •!!* l »'!T-nt nrfytiona- Leiaeximenis rrorn 

• ,•»»„,» .-i.u'h V '-Mure, -nil u ~he bead jf bis 

./jv ,-t'- ♦•» liH .ii ;t mo*t r o anno v ..r -ox .jil One 

!-r'.;.r, i^r\ OT *\ if > \^ r \ jt - ',Varrenne. riie Swts 

y"'i'y"\ , f '«'«r \r^)x\e n Ayrshire, but though diev 

fi'f },<•• iv.^Ji-h mu^h 'lamaee. were at last obliged 

f'» r'*r';if b'-fw -mr^rior numbers. Another Jivi- 

••i''ii l.'M'l w;i««tr» Clydwlale, destroved BothwelL 

.iri'l bnrri'rl Hi" ;ibl>f-y church of Lesmahago, where 

Hlu».bit.ant.H had taken shelter; an 

>liwn made #roat efforts to prevent, 

infill, and had to conceal himself in 

A TRUCE. 291 

a cave in the vicinity, still called Wallace's Cave, 
until the enemy retired. 

Edward then proceeded to fortify the places of 
strength which he had taken ; but very few of the 
Scots were willing to hire themselves to him for 
the work, and he was in consequence obliged to 
procure labourers, at great expense, from the 
northern parts of England. 

But as the result of all these operations in Scot- 
land was on the whole extremely unsatisfactory, 
he at length affected to listen to fresh representa- 
tions from the Pope, seconded by others from the 
King of France, and agreed to a truce with the 
Scots who were in arms against him. This truce 
was concluded at the French Court between 
English and Scottish commissioners, who, to the 
great displeasure of Edward, allowed Baliol's name 
to appear in the treaty as King of Scotland ; and 
the truce was to last till the following Whitsunday. 
In consequence, all the English troops, except those 
of the garrisons, were withdrawn from the Scottish 




iioob WL 



During this cessation of hostilities, Wallace, 
finding that he could be of little service for the 
present to his countrymen, resolved on visiting 
France. To this determination he was impelled 
partly by inclination to accept the earnest invita- 
tion of the French king, partly by the desire of 
seeing the military condition of the country, and 
partly by the hope of inducing Philip to lend aid 
to Scotland, when the truce should be expired, 
against the English. 

Having procured a vessel, he selected fifty men 

to form its crew, but communicated the place of 

]iU rlpsti nation to few, except Crawford and 

Ho were to accompany him, for he 




knew that the majority of his friends would hardly 
consent that he should leave the kingdom, and he 
feared that the English, if they heard of his 
departure, might attempt to capture him at sea. 

He set sail for Kirkcudbright in the month of 
April, 1301, and having proceeded with a fair 
wind for a day and a night, he was told by the 
master of the ship, on the following morning, that 
six sail were approaching from the south-east. As 
they drew nearer, and the sun shone strongly upon 
them, the master was able to distinguish that they 
were the vessels of the Red Reiver, a noted pirate 
of the day. " Alas !" said he, seized with terror, 
" alas the day that I was born ! it was in an evil 
hour that I undertook the charge of conveying the 
champion of Scotland to France. Our lives are 
lost, for we have no strength to resist this piratical 
force. But I would gladly give up my own life, if 
Wallace might but go unharmed." 

" Do not despair," said Wallace, who overheard 
his lamentations. " We may yet find means of 
resistance or escape. But who is this Red Reiver, 
as you call him ? What makes him so formidable 
to you ?" 

" He is the fiercest fighter that roams the seas," 
replied the master, " and we may well call him 


king of the main. He kills all whom he takes, 
accepting neither gold nor any other ransom ; kings 
and subjects are all alike to him ; all are drowned 
or put to the sword. He has tyrannized over the 
waters these sixteen years, for he has such a force 
with him, as only a large fleet can withstand." 

" Well," said Wallace, " how shall I know him 
when he draws near, and what is his usual mode 
of attack ?" 

4k You will be sure to see him," answered the* 
master, " in the ship that advances foremost ; he 
will hail us as he comes up, and will be the first to 
board us. You will know him by his red shield, 
marked with a bar of blue, and a bend of green." 

Wallace having received this information, ordered 
the master and steersman to resign their charge to 
Kneland and Crawford, both of whom were well 
acquainted with naval matters, desiring Kneland 
to steer, and Crawford to stand by the mainsail, to 
haul it in or let it loose as he should direct. He 
then called his fifty men around him, and after a 
few words of encouragement, stationed them, fully 
equipped, on the deck. The Reiver called to them 
to strike, and Kneland, by Wallace's direction, 
steered the vessel close to the pirate's ship, who at 
once sprang on board, when Crawford, at another 


signal from Wallace, let go the sail, and the vessel 
passed on. The Reiver, being thus separated from 
his men, was instantly seized by the neck by 
Wallace, and thrown on his back with such 
force, that the blood spurted from his nose and 
mouth. He attempted to draw his dagger, but 
Wallace soon disarmed him of both dagger and 
sword, and reduced him to supplicate for his life, 
which Wallace would not grant till he had solemnly 
sworn never to attempt to do him injury. The 
Reiver's men began to hurl missiles, but the Scots 
were so well protected by their armour, that none 
of them were hurt; and, at a sign from the 
Reiver, the hurling was discontinued. 

Wallace and the Reiver were seized with a 
strong admiration and liking one for the other. 
Both were brave, and each admired the other's 
bravery. From some words that the Reiver let 
fall, Wallace found that he understood Latin, and, 
as his own fluency in the French tongue was not 
great, he talked with him for some time in the 
Latin tongue. Wallace asked him if he was a 
native of France. %i Yes," replied he, " and de- 
scended from an ancient family, who had large 
estates in the country ." 

" How came you then into this kind of life V 9 
inquired Wallace. 


--r- -S.~=~X 

^— z ^ 

'- - '> ** -^- -*~/~ — - r--:-i n in. Ez^ri^ii *L:p at 
)>, .."i -^ *±. *^'i v.c.i.KZt^ri. zie _i"v:r>5 ?:urse in 
* .»..'... y,«. ;.;*y^ ^rT^-Vr-i me, E«~:z,r sn-x'essiiL I 
wa* y,u.<A Ky ri.iu.Y xi.',r* aiii.-rr-rnta. :•:*■ there are 
plenty of popk- \i.<:\\u<A to evil in the world, and 
ut-iutM ho atrori^, that we got more 
avo Ijwm enabled to defy the civil 



power for sixteen years. During this period I 
have done much harm, and have been particularly 
severe to my own countrymen, for though I have 
shown favour, and even done service, to men of 
other nations, I have allowed no Frenchman to 
ransom himself from my sword. I have been 
called king of the sea, but 1 might well have 
been termed tyrant of it. In personal prowess I 
have never before met my match, and if any one 
had told me this morning that I should have been 
so easily overthrown before noon, I should have 
laughed him to scorn. 1 long to know the name 
of my conqueror, for I should have thought lightly 
of meeting any man living in arms, unless it were 
Wallace, the champion of Scotland, of whose valorous 
exploits I have heard so much, and who is said to 
be the strongest and most skilful of all that have 
ever wielded a sword. It is wonderful that a man 
of such merit should not have been more honoured 
by his people, but should have been prevented by 
envy and jealousy from securing the independence 
of his country." 

" There are other men of merit in Scotland 
besides Wallace," replied the Scottish hero with a 
smile ; " Wallace must yield to circumstances like 
others ; but, such as he is, you see him before you.'" 

o 5 

• "11 - - H^X 
.122. "^1 JLV9 :a- 

»>^ f nMfr >f.n^*»r?at:niL "o "tie- same 



purpose, the vessels proceeded on their voyage 
together, and came to land at Rochelle, where the 
people, recognizing the Reiver's ships, were in 
some alarm, fearing that a piratical attack was 
intended ; but the appearance of Wallace's vessel 
in front, whose ensign, the red lion, they well 
knew to be Scottish, diminished their apprehen- 
sions, and Wallace's assurances, as he stepped on 
shore, restored their tranquillity. They saw that 
he was a man of authority and command, and, 
when they learned who he was, readily took his 
word that no harm should be done them, and gave 
him and his followers a cordial reception. 

Having stayed here four days, he prepared to 
visit Paris in company with the Reiver, making 
an agreement with the Reiver's crew that, until 
they heard from him, they should keep peace, 
and live at their own charge. When they reached 
Paris, and Wallace sent notice to the king of his 
arrival, he was received without delay by the 
king and queen in the garden of the palace, 
amidst a large number of the courtiers, all of 
whom were eager to see the champion of Scotland 
of whom they had heard so much. 

After a plenteous repast, the king and his 
nobles retired to discourse with Wallace, with 


whom he conversed in Latin, asking him many 
questions respecting the state of Scotland, to 
which Wallace gave ready and satisfactory replies ; 
and each was much pleased with the other. 
Among their subjects of talk the Red Reiver was 
mentioned, and the king congratulated Wallace on 
having escaped him, observing that he might have 
sent to France for a naval force to protect him in 
his voyage. Wallace thanked the king, and the 
discourse ended by Philip telling Wallace to make 
himself at home in France, and offering to give 
him any boon that he should ask, except his wife 
and his crown. 

Wallace in consequence took occasion to solicit 
Longueville's pardon, relating his adventure with 
him, and stating how desirous he had expressed 
himself to be again in favour with his prince. This 
request, which was seconded by some of the noble- 
men, the king, with reluctance, but under the 
obligation of his promise, at length consented to 
grant. Similar favour was extended to such of 
the Reiver's men as were willing to become good 
subjects of France. 

A SIEGE. 301 



After Wallace had been some time at the 
French Court, he began to grow tired of inactivity, 
and, as the English were then engaged in military 
operations in Guienne, he asked of Philip to be 
allowed to take the field against them, at the head 
of such Scots as he should be able to collect. In 
a short time nine hundred of his countrymen were 
assembled, and, accompanied by Sir Thomaa Lon- 
gueville, who promised to be his constant and 
faithful friend and supporter, he led them at once 
to the scene of war. 

The first place against which they directed their 
efforts, in concert with the French troops, was a 
considerable fortress well garrisoned by the Eng- 
lish. The defences were strong, though chiefly of 
wood, and, after various manoeuvres before the 
place, it chanced that Wallace, Crawford, and 


Longueville, by setting fire to a portion of the 
works, succeeded in effecting an entrance at one of 
the gates. But as soon as fifteen of the Scots had 
passed in, one of the porters, seizing an oppor- 
tunity, contrived to let a gate fall across the pas- 
sage, and cut them off from all communication 
with their countrymen without. The English 
within, seeing the small number of their enemies, 
assailed them with great boldness, but Wallace 
and his party, setting their backs against a wall, 
maintained a long and successful resistance, till 
his cousin Richard, with a few vigorous supporters, 
killed the porter, removed the obstacle, and gave 
free ingress to the other Scots. Many English- 
men were killed, and much booty taken ; and the 
fort was left in the keeping of a French garrison. 

Other successes followed, and the proceedings 
of the French and Scots in those parts were 
thought of such importance, that the Duke of 
Orleans, with a considerable body of men, was 
sent to their support. But, while the Duke was 
on his march, the Earl of Gloucester, who was then 
Governor of Calais, sent urgent representations to 
King Edward to induce him to stop Wallace's 
progress. Mention was made of the matter in the 
English parliament ; when some said that Wal- 


lace's acts were an infraction of the truce with 
Scotland; others alleged that the truce had no 
reference to what might be done in France, but to 
Scotland only. As for Edward himself, he was 
not merely displeased with Wallace's doings, but 
was bent, for other reasons, on resuming hostilities 
as soon as the truce should expire. 




Accordingly, when Whitsunday, to which the 
truce extended, was past, Scotland was again in- 
vaded by the English, who advanced as far as 
Linlithgow, where they fixed their head quarters, 
and prepared to build a strong fortress. But 
Edward was at the same time anxious to make 
a treaty of peace with the French king, and 
to detach him from the interests of the Scots ; 
and these objects he could not effect but on con- 
dition, not only of resigning the Flemings, his 
allies, to the resentment of Philip, but also of 
granting a truce to the Scots till St. Andrew"^ day, 
the thirtieth of November, in the following year. 
To these conditions Edward agreed, and put a % stop, 
in consequence, to hostilities with Scotland, and 
withdrew his troops, except such as were left in 
garrison, from the country. 




When this second truce expired, Edward was 
still in the same mind with regard to the subjuga- 
tion of Scotland, and immediately despatched 
thither Sir John de Segrave, with a force of 
twenty thousand men, who advanced into the 
country as far as Roslyn, in Mid Lothian, where, 
in order the better to obtain forage, he separated 
his troops into three divisions. 

But the Regent, John Comyn, assisted by 
Simon Fraser, a warlike chief, who had previously 
joined Edward, but, having repented of his defec- 
tion from patriotism, had since become a strenuous 
vindicator of Scotland's independence, had, on 
hearing of Segrave's approach, collected a force of 
eight thousand Scots, with which he advanced 
upon the enemy while they were thus scattered. 

- / " /, vw»' \ j. * /-nvr^z ~^rrir tun ind :r^ 

/ /;*♦**« -ft* 1 ,*- j>^-«mer»- ind .^ir S-^rd rde 
' /'' /" /» *•', o n* fvi v%cii Zi'tteiW^r ±»r S.-Jtla^ii 
^ -'I ri,« h''t'l A'it off oy .Hi moil Fra^r. 

fh>« /I?/'* tr'mtfif,h wa* not ^ithoat advantages 

(kr \t tt>n<\crh<\ the Soots more ready 

m a«4» || fcftff* ft.</jt,iri«t, tho invaders, who were 

Wallace's return. 307 

expelled from many of the strongholds which they 
occupied in the South. 

Before this battle was fought, news of the 
threatened invasion had reached Wallace in 
France, and he in consequence returned to Scot- 
land, but not in time to be present at the engage- 

< - ' ' -* / » .-- . / fc# '.:w . *n i r ttl^ remark- 

t\ '•j"/ i ' '* ' *t v:,.r;i ae ana •fCL^nnr-eretl 

fh^y 's*.>ri aion'j: die e»j;L*t of 

»rr»^ f/» f,h<> n.outh uf the Hum- 

ro<<svt<<\ a lar^e ship with a red 


sail, and a flag on which were three leopards, the 
ensign of the English monarch. The merchants 
at once knew that it was the vessel of John of 
Lyn, an English adventurer of great ferocity, 
who had done much mischief to the Scots that he 
had met out at sea. They were in consequence in 
great dismay; but Wallace and his companions 
encouraged them, and they at length began to 
prepare for defence. Their cargo consisted chiefly 
of wool and sheep-skins ; and, stuffing several of 
the skins with wool, they hung them about their 
persons as a kind of armour against the missiles 
of the enemy. Wallace smiled at their con- 
trivance, and said that he had never seen such 
armour before, but that he hoped it would answer 
their purpose. He himself, with Longueville and 
Blair, who, though a priest, could fight, took post 
in the centre of the vessel ; his other followers he 
stationed in different parts ; and committed the 
management of the helm to Gray* 

John of Lyn had with him about a hundred and 
forty men ; and when he saw the Scots preparing 
to resist, he laughed, and said to those about him, 
" Those fellows are doubtless landsmen, and know 
not who we are ; if they had been much at sea, 
they would not think of fighting with John of 

- '♦ "*t::. - i t ^ • i^^a^- and L»- 

»'• ~ - •' ' ™ • 2 s^^wer. Biai: 
— ~ ™ * *- -«-- ~ e-i»~ c: J.»im o: 

- ' L 1 - « »:- -. -- T-v^:err< were ex- 

v - *" — -*i~* ~~- •«.- ill J cross— bow 

• - -" * --.. - - i— h-'^^l *~::h"iiirr ir 

- I : -. !-:•:.- '*— --. ~:~ 1- ***M* arQCC€^de(i 

- :_. r~^_«r-?_- T.- ir--T - i ^zif also ex- 
*-— - i--*^-— --<*• rr: -•-**. a:.. ^£T- " rr^a: a-skt- 
-.* - i z^i t^-_ ■; v»l." T" ^^a^ az^ Lis^ com- 
i^l :t- -tti^ g: »» *l- i.'- f-z^-r— r *L:x.. and 
i.7~_^~~. i^r rr^r v^i_ f^- tz~» i_\a- xLt captain. 

<i^t: i^i- ifTnic- €L-rzr" £- hi?- fc-fsillinia. and 

z-r un*«» v-l. v-L..*.:- i-r=~ sr^-wri iLe deck. 

v- --*-~7 ^^ ^t*f>-*l <yr : re Hit 5v»is had 

r n * ^ .'. '- i_ *■ r=i hul t^ssr* . j^t ia>: tht- two 
-.j^t^ Dj- 3 : i-a^L t« ull aLC JuLl of Ljl, after 
a >. .»n snii^jx^ va~ ov-e7T»owert-c rx i^ ;«i»T«c»aeiit, 

?^; 4 <ZTa'2L Lis LtSid fruIL Ll5 *sIl.«tI5t£S. Sll?h of 

-_- ^vw &t sum red tLeL sifMnirred ic ibe victors, 

*-., r-.'Ui-I II il*e vessel Einfli val:a£le treasure 

y ■ Ijn had e^IWs^d in a long career 

Wallace, in this eneoonter, was 



well supported by all his followers, but by none 
more efficiently than by Longueville and Blair. 

He took the captured vessel with him, and 
steered for Helvoetsluys, where he made a free gift 
of it to the merchants, who were delighted that 
their terrors had ended in such profit. The spoil 
he divided among his own people, with whom he 
then took his way for Paris. 

J£ -i_. 11*. 

1 /, *• • f\ y !• ^/-,. ^-.v t r .V'fn rue '**jtitt ro a 

" ' '1 jr'rl,*^ fd^.t *A*it,Ii h!.i d^acii at the 

f /»rr *ti<'tt*y r but Wallace himself was 

♦(/i' 'I, ffh'l *mi>f fbaf, hft t banked the lords 

dim hhf f/f Im m||(5, but giving him an 



appointment where he would perhaps be able to act 
against the English, the enemies of his country. 
Philip accordingly appointed him to a command, 
and desired him to take troops and everything 
necessary for establishing himself in the govern- 
ment of his territories. 

Wallace was readily joined by the Scots that 
were in France; and Longueville made efforts 
to induce Frenchmen to support him ; so that he 
was soon at the head of a considerable body of 
men. He was also favoured by the Duke of 
Orleans, who had been on his march to assist him 
when he quitted France to return to Scotland. 
He conducted himself in his office, during the time 
that he held it, so as to gain great applause from 





In England, meantime, Edward was meditating 
vengeance on the Scots for the battle of Boslyn. 
He was annoyed at the praises, which he could not 
help hearing, of the bravery of the Scots; he was 
provoked by a report, conveyed to him by Men- 
teith, that they were presuming to think of making 
Bruce king; and he collected a mighty host to 
overwhelm the whole nation, and render it power- 
less to resist or disturb him for the future. Pre- 
parations for war were heard from one end of 
England to the other ; and a numerous fleet was 
appointed to attend the movements of the army, 
and prevent its operations from being crippled by 
*vrt«f rt f provisions. 

A himself led his army into the country, 
he higher class of people as were un- 


willing to submit to him sought refuge in the Isles. 
Bishop Sinclair again fled to Bute ; but most of 
the bishops were ready 4 enough to pay him homage; 
and he caused them to produce whatever records 
could be found of the independence of Scotland in 
past times, that they might be destroyed. Many 
of the nobility and others, who refused to hold 
their lands from him, he deprived altogether of 
their possessions, and sent prisoners into England. 
Among these were Sir William Douglas, who died 
in confinement in London; and the Earl of 
Murray, Lord Fraser, and Hew the Hay, who 
were despatched into England in charge of Sir 
Aymer de Vallence. Seyton, Lauder, and Lundy 
fled to the Bass; Earl Malcolm sought shelter 
with Bishop Sinclair in Bute ; Ramsay and Ruth- 
ven fled northwards to their cousin, the Lord of 
Fyllorth, and being joined by a recusant to 
Edward named Clement, built a strong fortress at 
Stockford, in the county of Ross. Adam Wallace, 
Lyndsay of Craigie, and Robert Boyd passed over 
to Arran. 

Among the few places that made any resistance 
to Edward, one of the most obstinate was the 
castle of Brechin in the shire of Angus, which, 
under Sir Thomas Maule, the governor, offered a 




most gallant defence, and did not surrender till 
the death of the governor introduced disorder 
among the garrison. 

The governorship of Perth was given to the 
Earl of York, with all the lands between the Tay 
and the Dee; and Butler, whose father and grand- 
father had been killed by Wallace at Kincleven, 
was made lieutenant under him. To Lord Beau- 
mont he gave a command in the north, and to 
Lord Clifford he assigned Douglasdale, with an 
additional portion of land towards the border. 
Young James Douglas, who had just returned 
from school at Paris, prevailed on the Bishop of 
Lammerton, who had received kindnesses from his 
family, to intercede with Edward that he might 
have his father's lands under service for them, but 
Edward refused with an oath, declaring that the 
father had been too much his enemy for the son to 
expect any favour from him. 

The governorship of Dumbarton was confirmed 
to Sir John Menteith, who also, having met Sir 
Aymer de Vallence in Annan, induced him, by 
large professions of attachment to the English, to 
v r him from Edward, an extension of his 
ver the district of the Lennox. The 
f Berwick was conferred upon Lord 


Soulis, who had been one of the Begents, but was 
now a professed subject of Edward. 

Having made these dispositions, Edward com- 
menced his march back towards England. On 
the journey, Comyn, who happened to be a near 
neighbour of Bruce, asked leave to speak with him 
privately on the state and prospects of their 
country. Bruce told him to speak without fear, 
as he would make no ill use of anything that he 
might say. 

" You are aware," said Comyn, " that if Baliol 
be put out of consideration, you are the rightful 
king of this realm." 

" Yes," replied Bruce, " but I see no oppor- 
tunity for pressing my claim, for I am in the 
power of the greatest and strongest opponent to it, 
King Edward, who forced me to promise, when he 
and I came into Scotland, that I would not quit 
his army under the influence of any power but 
that of death. He once signified that he might 
possibly give me the throne at some time, but he 
never could have had in reality any such inten- 
tion, or he would not now be partitioning the 
kingdom among Englishmen and traitorous Scots." 

" Would you like to have my lands !" asked 
Comyn in return; "I will give you them most 




After some further conversation, it was arranged 
between them that they should sign a written 
agreement to afford aid to each other in carrying 
their project into effect 5 Bruce being to enjoy the 
crown, and Comyn to be the most powerful subject 
under him. A bond to this purpose was accord- 
ingly signed and sealed by both of them the same 
night at Stirling; and Bruce was imprudent 
enough to leave it in Comyn's hands. 




Tidings had reached Wallace in France of the 
proceedings of Edward in regard to Scotland, but 
the affairs in which he was engaged, and the 
apprehension that his party at home was too 
weak for effectual resistance, contributed to detain 
him from returning to his country. The remem- 
brance of the insult, too, that he had received 
at Falkirk, made him less inclined than he might 
otherwise have been to assist the Scottish nobles 
in any of their designs against the enemy. He 
hoped, also, that by prolonging his services to 
the French king, he would render him more 
disposed to afford him aid against the English 
when the time should come for availing himself 
of it with effect. 

^he last place at which he was engaged was 
onghold near Bourdeaux, which had been 


seized by a number of outlaws and other desperate 
characters, who, knowing that to surrender would 
be death to them, continued to defy the utmost 
efforts of the king's troops for their reduction. 
Sixty days Wallace spent in besieging it, but 
to no purpose, for it had received ample supplies of 
provisions and other requisites for war by sea; 
and the besieged, with showers of arrows and other 
missiles, and with sallies in which they set fire 
to whatever was combustible, succeeded in caus- 
ing great annoyance and loss to the besiegers. 
The country around, also, was so much exhausted 
by continued demands upon it, that the scantiness 
of supplies began to be severely felt among Wal- 
lace's men. 

In this state of things more urgent solicitations 
came to Wallace from Bishop Sinclair and others, 
who intreated him to return and consider what 
could be done to save their country from being 
utterly overwhelmed, and deprived of its name 
among the nations, by the English. Being greatly 
moved, he consulted with the Duke of Orleans 
how he should act, and the Duke advised him 
to go to Paris, and, representing to the King 
the state of things at the fortress, urge him 
to send reinforcements as soon as possible. " I, 




" >'- '* :ui -s«ijze»i : r -la 

r ,i .,..., ist.ii.tft ;uix .3 rninirr ^aa 
■ / •/ -,'' .".1 ,¥ \n>m- -mi 'rut ~o .dniiie 
«'•» ,- ; "t »n/| ,b«*rnn.<r *hat lie was 
'» r!'!** iKro'»/| villi :it't«fiL attendants. 
.,, / -1 1** t^/'orri|i».riti!fl l>y the same 
I H/l, vVn ,i,r« ^ixtfrrm, and you are 
i hi \ry wlii'-li i* Urn letter troop/* 
I it • I 'In 'm k IVmim mirounter, and 
nil -j hnmiMlt'itfily oi»sr;iy[(ul. But the 


French nobleman had treacherously placed a body 
of his retainers in ambush, who, as soon as the 
contest was fairly begun, rushed forth upon the 
Scots with great fiiry. But Wallace and his men, 
though assailed by double their number, were not 
at all daunted; Wallace wielded his formidable 
sword with his usual energy, cut down all that 
came in his way, and struck off the nobleman's 
head with a single blow. His* brother cheered 
his followers to avenge his death, but was soon 
despatched by Wallace's men, and all that sur- 
vived of the Frenchmen then took to flight. The 
King, when he heard of this affair, caused search 
to be made for those that had been concerned in 
it, but all contrived to make their escape. 

Two other knights, who were constant com- 
panions, and persons of great strength, and ima- 
gined that no two men on earth were a match 
for them, conceived an irresistible desire to attack 
Wallace. Being of malicious dispositions, they 
took occasion to speak, in his hearing, disrespect- 
fully of Scotland, at first half in jest and half 
in earnest, and Wallace parried their remarks in 
the same strain ; but meeting him one day alone 
in the unfurnished apartment of a castle, they 
thought fit to attack him on the same subject 


fell on Wallace, as he was thought the only man 
strong enough to have mastered the knights, 
though whether he could have despatched them 
without assistance was a subject for further con- 
jecture. However, no one ventured to charge 
him with the act ; and Philip, to whom he pri- 
vately confessed that he was the author of it, 
readily forgave him, and still held him in honour, 
for he was convinced, from all that he had seen 
of Wallace's character, that the knights must have 
been the aggressors. 

Two gentlemen, cousins of the deceased knights, 
feeling convinced that Wallace was the slayer of 
their kinsmen, meditated an artful method of 
taking vengeance on him. The king had recently 
received into his menagerie a large lion of exceed- 
ing fierceness, which was kept in an iron cage, 
and which every one dreaded to approach. The 
two gentlemen contrived to have it represented 
to the king that Wallace was extremely desirous 
to fight this savage beast, hoping that, if permis- 
sion to encounter it should be granted him, he 
would be torn to pieces in the conflict. The king 
expressed great surprise that Wallace should covet 
such an enterprise, as it appeared to be an extra- 
vagant manifestation of valour, and likely to be 
attended with a disastrous result ; but, as he was 


unwilling to deny Wallace anything, he at last 
gave his consent that he should try his power on 
the animal. Haying attained this object, the two 
gentlemen hastened to Wallace, and represented 
to him that the king was in the highest degree 
anxious that he should subdue the lion, and 
appointed the following day for the combat in the 
lists, in the presence of the court. Wallace con- 
sidered that the king was much too imperative in 
his desire, but replied with calmness, that he 
would endeavour to do what the king wished. 
The matter was accordingly arranged without any 
personal communication between Wallace and the 
king concerning it. 

On the next day, the king ordered a choice of 
armour to be provided for Wallace. " Nay," said 
he, "I would put on armour if I were going to 
fight with a man, but against a beast, that can 
wear no armour itself, I will have none. 1 shall 
merely wear my cloak, and take my sword, which 
I may count an equivalent against his teeth and 
talons." Thus prepared, Wallace entered the list 
with the utmost intrepidity and coolness, and the 
lion was let loose. The animal rushed towards him 
with the greatest fierceness, but Wallace, wrapping 
his mantle about his left arm, thrust it down the 
beast's throat, and, with a stroke or two of the 


sword in his right hand, divided its, body in two. 
When the lion was killed, he went immediately 
to the kin£, and said, " Sire, was it your wish to 
expose my life to destruction, that you might have 
one the fewer of the Scots who have fought for you 
in your dominions ? Or have you any more beasts 
that you wish to be killed ? If you have, let me 
know what they are, that I may see if I can do 
your pleasure. It is true that I was setting off* for 
Scotland, where I may find better work than fight- 
ing with wild animals." 

The king perceived that Wallace was offended, 
and replied with dignity, " You should not be 
displeased, Sir William, for you yourself desired 
the encounter, or it had never entered into my 
thoughts ; but men of rank came from you to me 
to request my consent to it as a favour.' ' 

" Nay, sire," rejoined Wallace, " I made no 
request of the kind, for I have no ambition to fight 
with beasts, nor consider that any honour is to be 
obtained in such combats." 

The king then found that there was some mis- 
take, and proceeded 'to inquire by what means he 
and Wallace had been deceived. The guilt was 
soon traced to the two gentlemen, and the king 
caused them to be put to death for their malicious 
and mischievous treachery. 



Wallace's return to Scotland, his dangers 
from the english. 

Wallace now hastened his departure. The king 
bestowed on him valuable presents at parting, and 
all the well disposed among the courtiers took 
leave of him with regret. Longueville accom- 
panied him to Scotland, with Blair, Gray, and 
the rest of his friends that had gone with him to 

He landed in Perthshire by night, at the mouth 
of the river Erne. As the English were in pos- 
session of Perth, it was necessary for him to be 
very cautious in his proceedings, and he took care 
that the vessel should sail away out of sight before 
daybreak. He then went to Elcho, where there 
dwelt a cousin of his, named Crawford, whose pre- 
mises he entered by a secret access, and who gave 
him a hearty welcome, and a place of secure con- 


cealment in one of his detached buildings. Here 
he remained four or five days, when Crawford, as 
his provisions were exhausted, was obliged to go 
to Perth for a supply, and the unusual quantity 
which he bought excited a suspicion in the English 
that he must have more mouths to feed than those 
of his own household. Being questioned why he 
had purchased so largely, he replied that he had 
purchased for a feast ; but, as they still thought 
that something clandestine was in agitation, they 
allowed him to take what he had bought and re- 
solved to follow him, and ascertain whether any 
foes to the English were hidden on his lands or in 
the neighbourhood. 

Some intimation had, in the mean time, reached 
Perth, notwithstanding the precautions of Wallace, 
that strangers had landed on the coast, and, from 
other reports, it began to be surmised that Wallace 
might be among them. Butler, the deputy com- 
nander of Perth, accordingly followed on Craw- 
ford's track at the head of a considerable body of 
men. Wallace, hearing of the questions that had 
been put to Crawford, thought it prudent to retire 
to a neighbouring: thicket in Elcho Park. Craw- 
ford's wife, when the English came to the house, 
and inquired for her visitors, refused to disclose 


the place of their retreat ; and they were proceed- 
ing to compel her to answer their questions, when 
Wallace, learning the annoyance to which she was 
subjected, let them know, by a blast of his horn 
from the wood, where he and his party were 
posited. He had but nineteen men with him, with 
Crawford for a twentieth, but he had chosen a 
position which was assailable only by three steep 
and narrow approaches, and these he proposed to 
defend by distributing his little band into three 
divisions. Butler, with his superior number, was 
enabled to attack all the accesses at once, and from 
the supposition that he might meet with Wallace, 
engaged in the assault with great fury, in the hope 
of exacting vengeance for the deaths of his father 
and his grandfather. But the party within the 
retreat knew well how to protect themselves ; 
and Wallace, according to his old practice, had 
strengthened his position with felled or uprooted 
trees interwoven with those that were standing. 
The consequence was, that Butler's attempts were 
wholly in vain ; several of his men were killed 
while no one of Wallace's party was seriously 
injured ; and when night came on, he was glad to 
break off the strife, and withdraw to a distance. 
Butler's men were well provided with meat 
\ but the Scots had but scanty supplies, and 


nothing to drink but cold water. Butler suspected 
that they must be in want, and being eager to 
capture Wallace, if it were he, before an additional 
force should arrive to snatch the honour from him, 
he made advances, during the evening, for a parley 
with the besieged, and endeavoured to persuade 
them of the folly of protracting a resistance which 
must terminate in their destruction. Wallace re- 
plied by warning him, in return for his advice, to 
be on his guard, as he intended, instead of remain- 
ing stationary, to become the assailant, and was 
resolved to sally forth, either during the night or 
in the morning, though all England were leagued 
to oppose him. Thus repelled, and provoked at 
Wallace's coolness, he set watches all round the 
Scots 1 post, keeping his men under arms all night. 
But Wallace did not deceive him, for about sunrise, 
there being a thick mist over the ground, he issued 
forth at the head of his little troop, and coming 
quietly upon the enemy, fell upon them, as it 
happened, at that point where Butler himself had 
taken his station. Butler had scarcely men enough 
with him to make a stand against the assailants, 
and called aloud for assistance ; but he had dis- 
persed his troop too much, and Wallace and his 
band broke away before any effectual resistance 
could be collected against them. Crawford, how- 



ever, dropped behind, having been severely wounded 
in the knee, but Wallace, missing him, returned to 
the charge, and came in contact with Butler, whom, 
after a slight resistance, he slew, and carried Craw- 
ford off in his arms. Favoured by the mist, he 
then guided his followers in safety towards Me- 
thuen Wood, where, as there was plenty of deer, 
they would be in no danger of wanting sustenance. 
When the sun shone forth, they perceived a 
small body of men approaching them, and Wallace 
observed that, whether they were friends or foes, 
he would not decline meeting them. To his great 
delight, they were led by Sir Elias Dundas and 
Sir John Scott, two knights who were well inclined 
to the cause of their country, but had, from neces- 
sity, consented for the time to hold their lands of 
the English. When they found that they had 
fallen in with Wallace, they thanked Heaven, and 
gladly accompanied him to Methuen Wood. Here 
the two parties rested for a day, but thought it 
better, on the morrow, to proceed to Birnam Wood, 
where they were joined by Squire Ruthven, who 
had long lived there as an outlaw, but was pre- 
paring to quit the place, as he had begun to find 
} tj in procuring provisions. Making no 
Wefore, they went on to Athol, and from 
o Lorn. 

Wallace's dejection. 333 



Here also there was difficulty in finding provi- 
sions ; and such was the scarcity, at one time, 
that it seemed likely that some of the party would 
perish of hunger. They were, however, staunch to 
their cause, and all said that they would rather die 
than cease to make efforts under so distinguished 
a leader for the independence of their country. As 
for Wallace himself, he was greatly cast down, and 
desired them to consider themselves free from any 
obligation to him, and to disperse, if they "thought 
fit, and seek each his own fortune. 

As they would listen to no such permission, he 
walked away from them for a space that he might 
consider with himself what measures he might best 
adopt for their preservation, requesting them to 
remain where they were until he should return. 


Crossing over a neighbouring hill, he descended 
into a plain, when, entering a thicket, he sat down 
under an oak, with his sword resting against the 
stem of it. " It had been well for me, methinks, ,, 
said he to himself, " if I had never had this great 
strength above that of other men. Had I but 
been like those around me, I might have rested 
content in an unpretending station. But having 
been gifted with extraordinary power, I have been 
agitated with restless desires to achieve something 
great. I have cherished hopes that I should set 
my country free, but heaven seems to have ap- 
pointed that they shall not receive fulfilment. 
Success seems now to be farther from me than it 
ever was before. My followers are few, and those 
few are dying of hunger. Were I at the head of 
a host, as I formerly was, I might yet effect 
something ; but what can I expect to do now, or 
how shall I ever rise from this miserable con- 
dition ?" As he meditated thus, a feeling of 
drowsiness came over him, and he fell into a 
partial slumber. 

ju three days past, five men had been care- 
nuking the movements of him and his band, 
hopes of surprising and taking him, either 
o ; being, stimulated to the attempt by 


the offer of a large reward from the Earl of York, 
the chief governor of Perth. Three of them were 
English, and two Scotch ; and they had a boy 
with them to help to carry their provisions. They 
had observed Wallace, or the person whom they 
supposed to be him, leaving his companions, and 
had closely watched his progress into the wood 
where he had sat down. When they perceived 
him slumbering, they began to confer together 
how they might best proceed against him. " It 
would be a great thing," said one of them, "to 
take him alive and bind him, and lead him off 
prisoner round by the back of the hill, unseen by 
his party, into Perth. See how he lies dozing ; 
we may rush upon him before he is aware, and 
hold him down so as to prevent him from getting 
his sword, or making any effectual resistance in 
any way." 

The other four assented to his suggestion, and 
the five approached Wallace, with cautious steps, 
in the hope of accomplishing their object. But 
the strongest man that Scotland had ever seen was 
not to be so easily overpowered. One touch 
served to startle him from his sleep, and, springing 
to his feet, he cried, " What means this V and 
easily perceiving their intentions to be hostile, 


shook them off as a lion would repel deer, and 
grasping the nearest of them in his arms, dashed 
out his brains against the stem of the oak. He 
then seized his sword, which one of them was 
attempting to carry off, and swept it round among 
the four, two of whom were at once killed, and the 
other two fled. Flight, however, availed them 
nought, for Wallace was as swift as he was strong, 
and soon caught them and put an end to their 
lives. This easy victory of a noble and true man 
over five traitors, was an achievement that gods 
might have witnessed with admiration. 

The boy fell down at Wallace's knees and 
begged his life, protesting that he knew nothing of 
the men's design. Wallace readily spared him ; 
and the provisions which he found on him and 
those whom he had followed were, though but a 
small quantity, a welcome supply to Wallace's 
little troop. They asked him how they had been 
obtained ; Wallace took them, as soon as they had 
eaten, and showed them the five dead bodies. 
They blamed their chief for having thus exposed 
himself alone ; he made no defence, but merely 
observed that happily nought had come of it but 

^hey then inquired of the boy what he thought 


was the nearest place at which provisions could he 
obtained. He replied that he knew no place 
nearer than Bannoch Castle, the lord of which had 
made submission to King Edward, and had secured 
abundance of everything requisite for the main- 
tenance of a considerable number of men. They 
in consequence took their way to Bannoch without 
delay, and reached it on the following morning. 
Wallace himself went up to one of the sentinels, 
and finding that he was a true Scot, well disposed 
to his country, he drew from him full information 
concerning the fortress and its governor, who, 
they found, though he had joined the English, was 
very willing to return to the side of the Scots, 
and support their great leader in any attempts in 
favour of his country. 




Here they refreshed themselves for some time, 
and deliberated how they should proceed. The 
Lord of Rannoch, who had three stout sons, and 
more than a score of retainers, all ready to follow 
Wallace, recommended that they should commu- 
nicate with their friends as soon as possible, and 
take the field whenever a competent force should 
be ready to join them. As there was no objection 
to this advice, and. as Wallace hoped, from what 
he could learn as to the state of affairs in that 
part of the country, that supporters would speedily 
gather round him, it was resolved that, few as 
they were, they should at once go forth, and 
direct their march upon Dunkeld. 

The Bishop, an Englishman, who had the 
government of the place, fled at their approach, 


and took refuge in Perth. The Scots were soon 
masters of the place, and killed or expelled all the 
English and their adherents. They found abun- 
dance of provisions and other booty, and subsisted 
in ease and plenty for several days. 

Wallace then called a council to consult as to 
their further operations. " It would be well for 
us/' said he, "to make an attack on Perth, but 
we have not at present sufficient strength. We 
may perhaps find it more eligible, therefore, to go 
northward. There are good men in Ross ready to 
afford us aid ; and Bishop Sinclair from Bute, 
with numbers of westland men from Arran and 
Rauchlin, will, when they hear of our proceedings, 
hasten doubtless to join us." Northward, ac- 
cordingly, they marched ; the Scots flocked to 
their standard ; and the English fled at their 

By the time Wallace reached Aberdeen, his 
force amounted to seven thousand men. The Eng- 
lish garrison deserted the town, and Lord Beau- 
mont, the governor, fled to the coast, and took 
ship at Buchan Ness. Meantime, Clement of Ross, 
a brother of the Earl, suddenly invaded Moray- 
shire, and captured the stronghold of Nairn, 
putting the captain and many of his men to the 



sword. He then went in* pursuit of Beaumont, 
but being unable to discover him, returned and 
united his forces to those of Wallace. 

Wallace was also joined at this time by many 
from whom he had long been separated ; Sir John 
Ramsay, Lyndsay, Boyd, Adam Wallace of Bic- 
cartoun, and Bishop Sinclair from Bute. Finding 
himself strong enough, he determined now to make 
an attempt on Perth, whither his adherents 
followed him with great eagerness ; and he pro- 
ceeded to form a regular siege round the place. 
Soon after Seyton, Lauder, and Richard of Lundy, 
arrived to his aid by sea, having taken two Eng- 
lish vessels in their passage. 

The Bishop of Dunkeld fled to London, and 
carried tidings to King Edward of what Wallace 
was doing. Edward saw that something decisive 
must be done to stop Wallace's course, as it 
seemed that Scotland would never be his as long 
as Wallace should be alive. He accordingly took 
into his counsel Aymer de Valldhce, who was 
then at the English court, and asked him what 
measures he would advise to be adopted. De 
Vallence recommended bribery, and said that if 
an artful person were but sent into Scotland with 
plenty of gold, he would not fail of inducing some 


of Wallace's connexions to deliver him into Ed- 
ward's hands. 

" Though he is strong," said he, " he may be 
overpowered by numbers; and, whatever be his 
circumspection, he cannot be always on his 




It was accordingly arranged with the king that 
Sir Aymer should go to Scotland with abundance 
of gold, and endeavour to procure the removal of 
Wallace, the king promising to uphold him in any 
measures which he should see fit to adopt for that 

De Vallence in consequence returned without 
delay to Bothwell, his old residence, and consi- 
dered whom he should choose as the best instru- 
ment for accomplishing his designs on Wallace. 
After some hesitation, he resolved on applying to 
Sir John Menteith, who was intimately acquainted 
with Wallace, and whom, from something that he 
had heard concerning him, he thought not un- 
likely to listen to offers from the English king. 
Some correspondence having passed between them, 
arrangements were made for an interview at the 


church of Butherglen in Lanarkshire. De Val- 
lence, when they met, insinuated that Menteith 
might have almost any lordship in Scotland that 
he might desire, if he would hut consent to do for 
Edward what he wished. Menteith inquired what 
De Vallence meant. 

"You are aware," replied he, "that our un- 
happy country has no quiet, and that its great 
disturber is Wallace. King Edward had settled 
the whole realm in tranquillity, and trusted that 
no farther trouble would arise either to himself or 
to the inhabitants. But now Wallace has started 
up to throw all things anew into confusion. Men 
are drawn away from their work to follow him ; 
trade and husbandry are interrupted ; and all the 
evils of civil war are rapidly spreading everywhere. 
Were Wallace but out of the way, the land might 
soon return to its proper condition ; and you and 
I, and every man in the kingdom, high and low, 
might live as we ought in our own stations. 
What, with all his show of patriotism, does he 
desire ! He can have little hope of recalling Baliol, 
of whose rights he professed to be the supporter. 
Bruce is far off; and Wallace, 1 think, does not 
pretend to be acting for him. His own aggran- 
disement must be his object." 


** Yet he has not manifested any such ambi- 
tion," rejoined Menteith. "He had once the 
office of Regent, which he might have continued 
to hold, but which he resigned rather than embroil 
the country in civil disputes. What he has done, 
he has done apparently for the establishment of 
the freedom and independence of his country ." 

"He may have resigned the office," said De 
Vallence, " merely because he had no hope at that 
time of attaining that at which he was aiming. 
He may now think th^t he sees a better prospect 
of succeeding in his views. But what just expec- 
tation can he have of resisting such a power as 
that of Edward? All that he can do ends in 
nothing but useless bloodshed. It is these con- 
tests and slaughters that all who wish well to their 
country ought to study to prevent. To this end I 
would have Wallace taken from the scene of action. 
I have no desire that any evil should be done him, 
but merely that he should be kept out of the 
country, or confined somewhere in it, until the 
power of King Edward is so thoroughly esta- 
blished that Wallace, if he should reappear among 
us, may not again be tempted, by any seemingly 
favourable opportunities, to offer resistance to it." 

After some farther conversation to the same 


effect, Menteith signified his concurrence in De 
Vallence's professed views, and agreed to be in- 
strumental, if possible, in capturing Wallace, in 
order that he might be conveyed, as De Vallence 
suggested, into England. De Vallence then asked 
him what government, if this project were effected, 
he would like to have from Edward as a recog- 
nition of his services ; and he replied that he 
should prefer the government of the Lennox. De 
Vallence said that he thought he could undertake 
to procure him a promise of it from Edward at 
once, as well as a sum of money to put him in a 
fair condition for entering upon the efficient exer- 
cise of it. 

Having thus far advanced the affair, he hastened 
to Edward with the news, from whom, as he was 
much delighted, he easily obtained a written bond 
to be shown to Menteith, promising that what he 
desired should be bestowed upon him when what 
he had undertaken should be fulfilled. 


: >+tf ^IP* 'VILLiAM '.VaLLACE. 



The siege of Perth was still continued. Wal- 
lace ma<Ie :jreat exertions to take the place, but 
the English defended it with the greatest obstinacy. 
One morning five hun»lred of them, thoroughly 
armed, made a desperate sally from the south gate 
on Scott and Dundas who were posted on that 
side. The attack was fierce and impetuous, but 
the resistance steady and resolute. A long 
st niggle ensued, in which many were killed on 
both sides, but the Scots were at length over- 
powered by numbers, and obliged to withdraw. 
Dundas, however, pursuing too eagerly, was sur- 
rounded by a body of the enemy, and hurried, 
before he could extricate himself, in at the gate. 

He was taken before the Earl of York, who, 
observing that the death of one man would avail 
1 " -oared his life, and, after keeping him a 


few days in prison, sent him back with a courteous 
message to Wallace, who signified his gratitude in 

About this time the Earl of Fife, who, having 
gone over to the side of Edward, had long wished 
to -detach himself from it, but, from uncertainty as 
to Wallace's views, had hesitated to make the 
change, came, with several followers, to join his 
countrymen engaged in the siege. John Vallance, 
also, the sheriff of Fife, brought them a consider- 
able reinforcement. Thus strengthened, Wallace 
resolved upon a general assault, and, having filled 
up portions of the ditch with faggots of sticks and 
heather, and bundles of hay and straw, led on his 
men with scaling ladders, against the walls. Hun- 
dreds were killed before the English would yield, 
but the place was at last taken. Amidst the 
general massacre that followed, Wallace was 
anxious to save the Earl of York for his humanity 
to Dundas, and despatched Grimsby, who knew 
him by sight, to take care that no harm befell him. 
Grimsby having ably executed his commission, a 
horse was provided for the Earl, with a sum of 
money, and a passport from Wallace, for his 
escape into England. 

This success gave great encouragement to Wal- 


lace's party in the north. At the same time, too, 
Edward Bruce, the brother of Robert, who had 
been a year in Ireland, landed at Kirkcudbright 
with fifty men of his mother's kindred, and, after 
taking Wigtoun Castle on his way, hastened to 
attach himself to Wallace. The Scottish hero, to 
do him honour, rode to meet him as far as Loch- 
maben in Dumfriesshire, and expressed his readi- 
ness to act under him as the deputy of his brother 
Robert during his absence. 

King Edward, repenting, in some degree, of his 
clandestine agreement with Sir Aymer de Val- 
lence and Menteith, and being unwilling to have 
recourse to treachery if his great object, the 
thorough subjugation of Scotland, could be attained 
by any other means, caused, in this state of affairs, 
a secret communication to be made to Wallace by 
trusty messengers, offering him a high post, and 
large estates, if he would but consent to hold them 
of the English crown, and engage to give Edward 
no farther disturbance. But Wallace replied with 
dignity that, as he had not been born a subject of 
King Edward, he was resolved, if possible, to live 
and die without submitting to him ; that he was 
willing to obey Baliol as his sovereign, or, as 
Baliol might be considered to have relinquished 


the crown, Robert Bruce ; but that he would never 
yield, or induce his countrymen to yield, to one 
who demanded allegiance from them without 
having any right to it. Edward, being thus re- 
pulsed, grew again unmerciful, and his desire to be 
rid of Wallace, by whatever means, returned upon 
him ; and he accordingly sent notice to Menteith 
that he might carry his design into effect as soon 
as he should find it practicable. 

Wallace, meanwhile, despatched Grimsby into 
England with a letter to Bruce, urging him to 
come and assume the government of his country, 
and assuring him that neither the clergy, nor the 
nobility, nor the inferior orders, were in the least 
likely to oppose him. Bruce was extremely pleased 
with the communication, and returned a most 
gracious answer, expressing his desire to comply 
with the invitation, but observing that he must 
proceed with the greatest caution, and must wait, 
as he was strictly watched, for an opportunity of 
leaving England secretly. But he added that he 
trusted to accomplish that object shortly, and re- 
quested Wallace to be in readiness to meet him by 
the end of June in or near Glasgow, whither he 
would make it his object to repair with a few trusty 


'-.'• • . ..-■. ' ".i".v**r- ~* * zr~t -5.™ "^-s "*■■ 

• ■ -!!*•:'.« *.-/»^;-< r L ;.p * »UIl .CHiL."". IHU. UiiniTTI^t. 

J.'Wf'"/, w-'f '/U.'rr i/:a/!/:n», An;on^ tho^e that 

aH/Mh/f lum w r<T K<rr ar»'J Meriteiti/s nephew, 

n.< li<' Iwmjw tho of Wallaces 


journey, and that he would have but few followers 
with him, sent intelligence to his uncle of what 
was going to happen. The meeting was arranged 
to take place at Robroyston, a village near Glas- 
gow, where Wallace engaged, for a few nights, a 
small and retired lodging for himself, Ker, and the 
young man. His other attendants were quartered 
in different places at some distance. 

Menteith, on receiving notice from his nephew 
of Wallace's position, brought a body of sixty 
armed men, chiefly of his own kinsmen, from 
Dumbarton, and stationed them secretly in parties 
in the vicinity of Wallace's abode. 

One night, when Wallace expected that some 
communication for him might arrive, himself and 
Ker, overcome with the fatigues of the day, had 
retired to rest, but had directed the young man 
to keep watch, and to waken Wallace if any one 
should inquire for him. The youth lost no time 
in sending intelligence to his uncle that Wallace 
wap unguarded; and was informed by his uncle 
in reply that an attack would be made upon the 
house that night. He then removed Wallace's 
arms and bugle, and admitted a small party of 
stout men-at-arms, whom his uncle had sent 
forward for the purpose, at the door. Two of 

?>:>'! STR WILLIAM WALLACE. immediately caught hold on Ker, hurried 
him from the room, and put him to death. The 
others then threw themselves on Wallace, who, 
however, shook them off, and started to his feet^ 
hut, finding that his weapons were gone, at once 
suspected treachery. Seizing instantly on a heavy- 
plank, which had served for a bench, he broke the 
back of one of his assailants, and knocked out 
the brains of another. Several then grasped hini 
at once, and attempted to drag him away, but he 
declared that he would not leave the house until 
they or he were dead. Sir John Mentieth, there- 
fore, seeing the difficulty that they would have 
in capturing him, advanced to the door, and order- 
ing the men to stand back a space, addressed him 
with pretended kindness. 

" I have heard, my friend," said he, "of the 

straits into which you have fallen. It will be 

useless for you, I fear, to offer resistance to the 

force that has gathered round you. The English 

have watched their opportunity, and have encircled 

the house with a vast number of men, which, if 

you had the strength of ten Hectors, must at 

length overpower you. They are persuaded that 

vmi is the only means of ensuring the 

country, and have in consequence 

rtved on accomplishing that object." 

menteith's baseness. S53 

" Were it not that you and I have been so 
intimately connected, Sir John Menteith," said 
Wallace, " and that I have always considered you 
a person worthy of trust, I should much fear that 
you yourself were a traitor 'to me. But surely 
you would not act with such baseness; and, if 
you are my friend, how would you advise me to 
act, for it is plain that you will not assist me ?" 

" I have spoken to Lord Clifford, the com- 
mander of the troop that surrounds you/' replied 
Menteith, with ready invention, "for I chanced 
to come in contact with him, and, learning his 
object, was desirous to be of service to you. He 
asks only that you should surrender, having no 
design on your life. He even consents that you 
you should accompany me to Dumbarton, where 
you shall live, if you please, not as a prisoner, 
but in your own house. The English must see 
*ou, however, appear as a captive, or they will 
aoon take you out of my hands, and you must 
therefore allow yourself to be bound." 

" Before I submit to that indignity," said Wal- 
lace, " I must have an oath from you, notwith- 
standing our previous intimacy, that what you say 
you mean in all sincerity ." 

An oath to that effect was accordingly taken by 


.- ~\ ^ - -ril^ -r^L ~.'.^itt^ rue 

. -— ! O "eTTTia^e ~n "L^LLl "H*. IL^Tl -It* 

«rv -ru!i k-fs?irr-njed _ie fj*ui r>Lae*? mi 

iz-'vr... »'<%/•'* ; .ifr ~e:t ~l*at Tlir^e TT-a J.ITie done at 
,«a.'r> /■ ;V,r .i.rn. inle^>i r^mme iiiuiiid =iiuw jim ex- 
► raor. liu^r r V/our. rilij rritrnds Wr-re i^noraiit; of 
vhat ;»;ut 1 1 ;n ironed so iiim unni lie w;t3 <|aite 
\>«.'ft>u<\ MtHr aid ; and McMiteiriT* party carried 
liim off jwroM* the frontier? by ike Solway Sand, 
whw* Mi '•■/ delivered him to Lord Clinton! and Sir 
A /rr^'.r do VaJUmcft, who conveyed him straight to 
I J i.rh il,. .nr| tttuUuf.d him in a tower of the prison, 
i trtU called Wallace's Tower. 




When Wallace's followers found that their 
leader was taken from them, their grief was ex- 
treme. One of the most deeply afflicted was Lon- 
gueville, who vowed never to return to France, 
but to remain in Scotland, and seek revenge for 
the fate of his friend. He rode over to Loch- 
maben, where he met with Edward Bruce, and 
continued with him till the arrival of Robert, who 
reached that place on the third day after Wallace 
was carried off. He was subsequently one of the 
great supporters of Robert Bruce in his struggles 
for Scottish independence, and was in return pre- 
sented by Robert with the lands of Charteris, sur- 
rounding the castle of Kinfauns, where his large 
two-handed sword is still to be seen, and from 
which possessions his descendants took the name 
of Charteris. 


Bruce and bis brother were greatly cast down 
at the loss of Wallace. 

" We have, indeed,'" said Edward, " great cause 
to mourn for him. It was to uphold royalty in 
Scotland that he engaged in so many warlike and 
perilous enterprises. Had it not been for him, we 
and all our kindred should have entirely lost hold, 
as it would appear, of our country. He was an 
example to the world of loyalty and manliness, 
and the stoutest and most skilful of all that ever 
wielded a sword. Had he sought the crown for 
himself, he would have found few to oppose his 
assumption of it. But we must, like Longueville, 
think of revenge. We have lost Wallace, but we 
must struggle for ourselves." 

In the meantime, Lord Clifford and Sir Aymer 
de Vallence were hastening with Wallace to Lon- 
don, where his arrival caused great joy to King 
Edward. Crowds collected to witness the entry 
of the Scottish champion into the city, and he 
was lodged in the house of William Delect, a 
citizen in Fenchurch Street. The following day, 
such was the haste with which proceedings against 
him were conducted, he was taken from thence on 
horseback to be put on his trial in Westminster 
~^ John de Segrave, the fugitive of Roslyn, 

HIS TRIAL. - 357 

who acted as Grand Marshal of England, riding 
on one side of him, and Geoffrey de Hartlepool, 
Recorder of London, on the other; the mayor, 
sheriffs, and aldermen of London following. When 
he was brought into the Hall, he was subjected, as 
he was placed at the bar, to a mean and unjusti- 
fiable insult, being crowned with a wreath of laurel, 
in consequence of a report that he had said he 
ought to be crowned in Westminster Hall instead 
of being put on his trial in it. But his majestic 
appearance and calm demeanour rendered this 
attempt to throw ridicule on him totally inef- 

The indictment was read by Sir Peter Mallory, 
the chief justice, and charged Wallace with being 
a traitor to his majesty, whose towns he had 
burnt, and whose subjects he had slain. Wallace 
replied that, as he had not been born the King 
of England's subject, and had never professed 
allegiance to him, he could not be a traitor. That 
he had slain many Englishmen, and carried des- 
truction to some towns, in support of his sove- 
reign's rights, and the independence of his country, 
he readily admitted. 

When he had made this confession, he was at 
once sentenced to the most cruel and ignominious 


of deaths. As a traitor, he was to be drawn on 
a hurdle to the place of execution; as a robber 
and manslayer, he was to be hanged by the neck ; 
as a violator of abbeys and religious houses, he 
was to be taken down from the gibbet before he 
was dead, and to have his entrails torn out and 
burnt before his face ; and his body was then to 
be quartered, and the parts to be disposed of as his 
majesty should see fit. 

As soon as preparations for carrying this sen- 
tence into execution could be made, Wallace was 
brought forth heavily ironed, and chained to a 
bench of oak, and was dragged to the Elms in 
Smitlifield. He appeared calm and undaunted 
as on his trial, and asked that he might have 
time to make confession to a priest ; but Edward, 
on being told of the request, gave orders that no 
priest should delay the execution for such a pur- 
pose. But Winchelsea, the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, the same prelate that had delivered the 
Pope's bull to Edward at Caerlaverock, went for- 
ward to the king and remonstrated with him, and 
declared that, as other priests were afraid to offi- 
ciate, he would hear Wallace's confession himself. 
He accordingly went calmly through the ceremony, 
and then, having taken farewell of Wallace, and 


leaving open before him a Psalter, which he had 
had about his person when he was carried prisoner 
to London, rode off to Westminster, that he might 
not behold the conclusion of the tragedy. Edward 
was exasperated with the Archbishop for his bold- 
ness, and would have entered on proceedings 
against him, but that his counsellors advised him 
to leave the matter unnoticed. 

The sentence was executed in its full severity. 
The body having been dismembered, the head was 
fixed on London Bridge, the right arm on that of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the left at Berwick. 
The right leg was ordered to be fixed at Perth, 
and the left at Aberdeen, but it is uncertain 
whether this part of the commaCnd was fulfilled. 

Such haste had been made to put him to death, 
that, being captured on the fifth of August, he was 
executed on the twenty-third, in the year ]30o. 

Wallace's daughter by Marian Braidfoot, who 
had been left during her father's travels and ad- 
ventures with some friends in Lanarkshire, in- 
herited her mother's property, and was afterwards 
married to a gentleman of the name of Shaw ; and 
from her, by another marriage, the family of the 
Baillies of Lamington are descended. 




Thus perished, probably before he had reached 
the age of thirty-five, one of the most nobly en- 
dowed human beings, certainly in bodily qualities, 
that had ever appeared on the face of the earth. 
His person is described as eminently handsome; 
his face was long and well-proportioned ; his eyes 
clear and sparkling ; his nose prominent ; his lips 
round and full. His hair was brown, and inclined 
to curl ; his complexion sanguine. His stature 
was tall, and his limbs and body large, and pro- 
portioned to his height. His step was firm and 
dignified, his movements agile, and his fieetness 
of foot beyond that of any man of his time. 

Nor were his mental faculties of an inferior 
order. He that had only to appear in the field 
among his countrymen, in the earliest years of 
manhood, to be acknowledged a leader, must have 

: -H 


been gifted with commanding abilities, and have 
impressed those around him with a strong sense of 
his superiority. He seems to have easily acquired 
the art of war, and to have been able to direct 
others as soon as he could act for himself. 

His moral qualifications were of the same rank 
with those of his intellect. He was a strict 
observer of his word, and though he saw numbers 
around him, who, for some fancied advantage, 
vowed allegiance to King Edward, and then, on 
pretence that it had been compulsory, broke their 
vows without hesitation, he himself was never in- 
fluenced by their example. He exercised his 
authority as a ruler with justice ; he suppressed 
violence and injury, and took the part of such as 
were wronged ; he was kind to the poor and the 
helpless, and, while he combated those that fought 
against him, spared all whose weakness of age or 
sex claimed his pity and compassion. In the 
division of spoil taken in battle he sought nothing 
for himself but what was absolutely necessary, 
relinquishing much that he might justly have 
claimed, in order to gratify the desires or relieve 
the wants of his followers. 

His look, though often grave, was generally 
serene and cheerful, as that of a man at ease with 



himself, and kindly disposed towards those about 
him. His manner was staid and calm, and his 
ordinary mode of speaking mild and gentle. But, 
when roused in the fury of battle, his tone was 
loud and fierce, his gestures energetic and vehe- 
ment, and he differed as much from the Wallace 
of other times as Hercules courting Omphale 
differed from Hercules seizing Lichas. 

With all his powers, it is wonderful that, in the 
circumstances in which he was placed, he should 
have been able to accomplish what he did. He 
was not born among the nobility, but was the son 
of a private gentleman ; he had to withstand or 
elude the whole force of England, with a most 
warlike sovereign at its head ; and he had to con- 
tend, when he arose to eminence, against the envy 
and malice of his more nobly born countrymen 
who ought to have supported him. He would 
doubtless have done much more damage to the 
enemy, had he been unopposed, before the battle 
of Falkirk, for his plan was to lure the English 
farther into the country, and subject them to the 
destruction of famine as well as that of war ; but 
the ill-will and dishonesty of those who thought 
themselves superior to him betrayed his design to 
King Edward, and rendered his prudence un- 


Yet, in spite of all difficulties, lie prevented 
Edward from becoming lord of Scotland, and 
preserved his country as an independent kingdom 
for him who was lineally entitled to the throne, 
and who was destined to achieve the possession 
of it. 

His departure to France, while his country was 
still in trouble, may seem like an unwarrantable 
desertion of his duty as a patriot; but he had 
doubtless a wise and good object in view, and 
trusted to secure French aid against English 
oppression. He felt bound to fight in defence of 
his country, and deemed himself fully justified, 
when its own strength was insufficient for its 
defence, to procure it foreign assistance to vindicate 
. its rights. 

He died by an arbitrary doom, being brought 
to the scaffold by a king to whom he had not been 
born a subject, to whom he had never sworn allegi- 
ance, and who had no right to dominion over his 
country, but who hoped that, by cutting off Wal- 
lace, he would secure himself from farther oppo- 
sition to his unjust usurpation. His expectations, 
however, were disappointed. The Scottish nation 
were exasperated at the cruel fate of their cham- 
pion ; they had never been fully subjected to the 



English, and were now more than ever disposed to 
rise against them ; those who had envied Wallace 
in his life-time, regretted him when he was no 
more ; and Edward died as insecure of Scotland 
at his last hour as he had ever been, bequeathing 
the subjugation of it to his son, who, instead of 
accomplishing his father's wishes, was fated to see 
the whole country shake off English domination, 
and establish itself in power, liberty, and inde- 


F. Shoberl, Printer, 37, Dean Street, Soho, W.